VVVX-Gaia Discovery of a Low Luminosity Globular Cluster in the Milky Way Disk

E. R. Garro, D. Minniti, M. Gómez, J. Alonso-García, R. H. Barbá, B. Barbuy, J. J. Clariá, A. N. Chené, B. Dias, M. Hempel, V. D. Ivanov, P. W. Lucas, D. Majaess, F. Mauro, C. Moni Bidin, T. Palma, J. B. Pullen, R. K. Saito, L. Smith, F. SurotS. Ramírez Alegría, M. Rejkuba, V. Ripepi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Milky Way globular clusters (MW GCs) are difficult to identify at low Galactic latitudes because of high differential extinction and heavy star crowding. The new deep near-IR images and photometry from the VISTA Variables in the Via L\'actea Extended Survey (VVVX) allow us to chart previously unexplored regions. Our long term aim is to complete the census of MW GCs. The immediate goals are to estimate the astrophysical parameters, measuring their reddenings, extinctions, distances, total luminosities, proper motions, sizes, metallicities and ages. We use the near-IR VVVX survey database, in combination with Gaia DR2 optical photometry, and with the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) photometry. We report the detection of a heretofore unknown Galactic Globular Cluster at RA = 14:09:00.0; DEC=-65:37:12 (J2000). We calculate a reddening of E(J-K_s)=(0.3 +/- 0.03) mag and an extinction of A_Ks=(0.15 +/- 0.01) mag for this new GC. Its distance modulus and corresponding distance were measured as (m-M)=(15.93 +/- 0.03) mag and D=(15.5 +/- 1.0) kpc, respectively. We estimate the metallicity and age by comparison with known GCs and by fitting PARSEC and Dartmouth isochrones, finding $[Fe/H]=(-0.70\pm0.2)$ dex and t=(11.0 +/- 1.0) Gyr. The mean GC PMs from Gaia are mu_alpha^(star)=(-4.68 +/- 0.47) mas yr^(-1) and mu_delta=(-1.34 \pm 0.45) mas yr^(-1). The total luminosity of our cluster is estimated to be M_Ks=(-7.76 +/- 0.5) mag. We have found a new low-luminosity, old and metal-rich globular cluster, situated in the far side of the Galactic disk, at R_G=11.2 kpc from the Galactic centre, and at z=1.0 kpc below the plane. Interestingly, the location, metallicity and age of this globular cluster are coincident with the Monoceros Ring (MRi) structure.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberL19
Number of pages8
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2020


  • astro-ph.GA
  • astro-ph.SR


Dive into the research topics of 'VVVX-Gaia Discovery of a Low Luminosity Globular Cluster in the Milky Way Disk'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this