New Galactic star clusters discovered in the disc area of the VVVX survey

J. Borissova, V. D. Ivanov, P. W. Lucas, R. Kurtev, J. Alonso-Garcia, S. Ramirez Alegria, D. Minniti, M. Hempel, N. Medina, A. N. Chene, M. A. Kuhn

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The "VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea eXtended (VVVX)" ESO Public Survey is a near-infrared photometric sky survey that covers nearly 1700 sq. deg towards the Galactic disk and bulge. It is well-suited to search for new open clusters, hidden behind dust and gas. The pipeline processed and calibrated Ks-band tile images of 40% of the disk area covered by VVVX was visually inspected for stellar over-densities. Then, we identified cluster candidates by examination of the composite JHKs color images. The color-magnitude diagrams of the cluster candidates are constructed. Whenever possible the Gaia DR2 parameters are used to calculate the mean proper motions, radial velocities, reddening and distances. We report the discovery of 120 new infrared clusters and stellar groups. Approximately, half of them (47%) are faint, compact, highly reddened, and they seem to be associated with other indicators of recent star formation, such as nearby Young Stellar Objects, Masers, H II regions or bubbles. The preliminary distance determinations allow us to trace the clusters up to 4.5 kpc, but most of the cluster candidates are centered at 2.2 kpc. The mean proper motions of the clusters, show that in general, they follow the disk motion of the Galaxy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3902–3920
Number of pages19
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Early online date30 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2018


  • astro-ph.GA
  • astro-ph.SR
  • Galaxy: disk
  • Infrared: stars
  • Galaxy: open clusters and associations: general


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