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A systematic survey for infrared star clusters with vertical bar b vertical bar < 20 degrees using 2MASS

By Dirk Froebrich, Alexander Scholz and C.L. Raftery

Abstract

We used star density maps obtained from the Two-Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) to obtain a sample of star clusters in the entire Galactic Plane with vertical bar b vertical bar < 20 degrees. A total of 1788 star cluster candidates are identified in this survey. Among those are 681 previously known open clusters and 86 globular clusters. A statistical analysis indicates that our sample of 1021 new cluster candidates has a contamination of about 50 per cent. Star cluster parameters are obtained by fitting a King profile to the star density. These parameters are used to statistically identify probable new globular cluster candidates in our sample. A detailed investigation of the projected distribution of star clusters in the Galaxy demonstrates that they show a clear tendency to cluster on spatial scales in the order of 12-25 pc, a typical size for molecular clouds

Topics: QB, QC
Publisher: Royal Astronomical Society, Blackwells
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:kar.kent.ac.uk:2840
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