July 11-15, 2011
Meeting Home > Conference Information > See Abstract


New Galactic Star Clusters Discovered in the VVV Survey.

Jura Borissova (Universidad de Valparaiso)

Borissova et al.

VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV) is one of the six ESO Public Surveys operating on the new 4-meter Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA). VVV is scanning the Milky Way bulge and an adjacent section of the disk, where star formation activity is high. One of the principal goals of the VVV Survey is to find new star clusters of different ages. In order to trace the early epochs of star cluster formation we focused our search on the directions of known star formation regions, masers, radio and infrared sources. The disk area covered by VVV was visually inspected on the pipeline processed and calibrated Ks-band tile images for stellar overdensities. Subsequently, we examined the composite $ JHKs and ZJKs color images of each candidate. PSF photometry of 15X15 arcmin fields centered on the candidates was then performed on the Cambridge Astronomy Survey Unit (CASU) reduced images. After the statistical field-star decontamination, the color-magnitude and color-color diagrams were constructed and analyzed.We are reporting the discovery of 96 new infrared open clusters and stellar groups. Most of the new cluster candidates are faint and compact (with small angular sizes), highly reddened and younger than 5 Myr. For relatively well populated cluster candidates we derived the fundamental parameters such as reddening, distance and age by fitting the solar-metallicity Padova isochrones on the color-magnitude diagrams.

Mode of presentation: poster