Browsing by Subject "solar neighborhood"

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  • Gaia Collaboration; Katz, D.; Muinonen, K.; Fedorets, G.; Granvik, M.; Siltala, L. (2018)
    Context. The second Gaia data release (Gaia DR2) contains high-precision positions, parallaxes, and proper motions for 1.3 billion sources as well as line-of-sight velocities for 7.2 million stars brighter than G(RVS) = 12 mag. Both samples provide a full sky coverage. Aims. To illustrate the potential of Gaia DR2, we provide a first look at the kinematics of the Milky Way disc, within a radius of several kiloparsecs around the Sun. Methods. We benefit for the first time from a sample of 6.4 million F-G-K stars with full 6D phase-space coordinates, precise parallaxes (sigma((omega) over bar)/(omega) over bar Results. Gaia DR2 allows us to draw 3D maps of the Galactocentric median velocities and velocity dispersions with unprecedented accuracy, precision, and spatial resolution. The maps show the complexity and richness of the velocity field of the galactic disc. We observe streaming motions in all the components of the velocities as well as patterns in the velocity dispersions. For example, we confirm the previously reported negative and positive galactocentric radial velocity gradients in the inner and outer disc, respectively. Here, we see them as part of a non-axisymmetric kinematic oscillation, and we map its azimuthal and vertical behaviour. We also witness a new global arrangement of stars in the velocity plane of the solar neighbourhood and in distant regions in which stars are organised in thin substructures with the shape of circular arches that are oriented approximately along the horizontal direction in the U - V plane. Moreover, in distant regions, we see variations in the velocity substructures more clearly than ever before, in particular, variations in the velocity of the Hercules stream. Conclusions. Gaia DR2 provides the largest existing full 6D phase-space coordinates catalogue. It also vastly increases the number of available distances and transverse velocities with respect to Gaia DR1. Gaia DR2 offers a great wealth of information on the Milky Way and reveals clear non-axisymmetric kinematic signatures within the Galactic disc, for instance. It is now up to the astronomical community to explore its full potential.
  • Gaia Collaboration; Babusiaux, C.; Muinonen, K.; Fedorets, G.; Granvik, M.; Siltala, L. (2018)
    Context. Gaia Data Release 2 provides high-precision astrometry and three-band photometry for about 1.3 billion sources over the full sky. The precision, accuracy, and homogeneity of both astrometry and photometry are unprecedented. Aims. We highlight the power of the Gaia DR2 in studying many fine structures of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram (HRD). Gaia allows us to present many different HRDs, depending in particular on stellar population selections. We do not aim here for completeness in terms of types of stars or stellar evolutionary aspects. Instead, we have chosen several illustrative examples. Methods. We describe some of the selections that can be made in Gaia DR2 to highlight the main structures of the Gaia HRDs. We select both field and cluster (open and globular) stars, compare the observations with previous classifications and with stellar evolutionary tracks, and we present variations of the Gaia HRD with age, metallicity, and kinematics. Late stages of stellar evolution such as hot subdwarfs, post-AGB stars, planetary nebulae, and white dwarfs are also analysed, as well as low-mass brown dwarf objects. Results. The Gaia HRDs are unprecedented in both precision and coverage of the various Milky Way stellar populations and stellar evolutionary phases. Many fine structures of the HRDs are presented. The clear split of the white dwarf sequence into hydrogen and helium white dwarfs is presented for the first time in an HRD. The relation between kinematics and the HRD is nicely illustrated. Two different populations in a classical kinematic selection of the halo are unambiguously identified in the HRD. Membership and mean parameters for a selected list of open clusters are provided. They allow drawing very detailed cluster sequences, highlighting fine structures, and providing extremely precise empirical isochrones that will lead to more insight in stellar physics. Conclusions. Gaia DR2 demonstrates the potential of combining precise astrometry and photometry for large samples for studies in stellar evolution and stellar population and opens an entire new area for HRD-based studies.
  • Mattila, Kalevi; Haas, Martin; Haikala, Lauri; Jo, Y.-S.; Lehtinen, Kimmo; Leinert, Christoph; Väisänen, Petri (EDP Sciences, 2018)
    Astronomy & Astrophysics
    Context. Dark nebulae display a surface brightness because dust grains scatter light of the general interstellar radiation field (ISRF). High-galactic-latitudes dark nebulae are seen as bright nebulae when surrounded by transparent areas which have less scattered light from the general galactic dust layer. Aims. Photometry of the bright dark nebulae LDN 1780, LDN 1642, and LBN 406 shall be used to derive scattering properties of dust and to investigate the presence of UV fluorescence emission by molecular hydrogen and the extended red emission (ERE). Methods. We used multi-wavelength optical photometry and imaging at ground-based telescopes and archival imaging and spectroscopic UV data from the spaceborn GALEX and SPEAR/FIMS instruments. In the analysis we used Monte Carlo RT and both observational data and synthetic models for the ISRF in the solar neighbourhood. The line-of-sight extinctions through the clouds have been determined using near infrared excesses of background stars and the 200/250 μm far infrared emission by dust as measured using the ISO and Herschel space observatories. Results. The optical surface brightness of the three target clouds can be explained in terms of scattered light. The dust albedo ranges from ~0.58 at 3500 Å to ~0.72 at 7500 Å. The spectral energy distribution of LDN 1780 is explained in terms of optical depth and background scattered light effects instead of the original published suggestion in terms of ERE. The far-ultraviolet surface brightness of LDN 1780 cannot be explained by scattered light only. In LDN 1780, H2 fluorescent emission in the wavelength range 1400–1700 Å has been detected and analysed. Conclusions. Our albedo values are in good agreement with the predictions of the dust model of Weingartner and Draine and with the THEMIS CMM model for evolved core-mantle grains. The distribution of H2 fluorescent emission in LDN 1780 shows a pronounced dichotomy with a strong preference for its southern side where enhanced illumination is impinging from the Sco OB2 association and the O star ζ Oph. A good correlation is found between the H2 fluorescence and a previously mapped 21-cm excess emission. The H2 fluorescence emission in LDN 1780 has been modelled using a PDR code; the resulting values for H2 column density and the total gas density are consistent with the estimates derived from CO observations and optical extinction along the line of sight.
  • Mattila, K.; Haas, M.; Haikala, L. K.; Jo, Y-S.; Lehtinen, K.; Leinert, Ch.; Väisänen, P. (2018)
    Context. Dark nebulae display a surface brightness because dust grains scatter light of the general interstellar radiation field (ISRF). High-galactic-latitudes dark nebulae are seen as bright nebulae when surrounded by transparent areas which have less scattered light from the general galactic dust layer. Aims. Photometry of the bright dark nebulae LDN 1780, LDN 1642, and LBN 406 shall be used to derive scattering properties of dust and to investigate the presence of UV fluorescence emission by molecular hydrogen and the extended red emission (ERE). Methods. We used multi-wavelength optical photometry and imaging at ground-based telescopes and archival imaging and spectroscopic UV data from the spaceborn GALEX and SPEAR/FIMS instruments. In the analysis we used Monte Carlo RT and both observational data and synthetic models for the ISRF in the solar neighbourhood. The line-of-sight extinctions through the clouds have been determined using near infrared excesses of background stars and the 200/250 mu m far infrared emission by dust as measured using the ISO and Herschel space observatories. Results. The optical surface brightness of the three target clouds can be explained in terms of scattered light. The dust albedo ranges from similar to 0.58 at 3500 angstrom to similar to 0.72 at 7500 angstrom. The spectral energy distribution of LDN 1780 is explained in terms of optical depth and background scattered light effects instead of the original published suggestion in terms of ERE. The far-ultraviolet surface brightness of LDN 1780 cannot be explained by scattered light only. In LDN 1780, H-2 fluorescent emission in the wavelength range 1400-1700 angstrom has been detected and analysed. Conclusions. Our albedo values are in good agreement with the predictions of the dust model of Weingartner and Draine and with the THEMIS CMM model for evolved core-mantle grains. The distribution of H-2 fluorescent emission in LDN 1780 shows a pronounced dichotomy with a strong preference for its southern side where enhanced illumination is impinging from the Sco OB2 association and the O star zeta Oph. A good correlation is found between the H-2 fluorescence and a previously mapped 21-cm excess emission. The H-2 fluorescence emission in LDN 1780 has been modelled using a PDR code; the resulting values for H-2 column density and the total gas density are consistent with the estimates derived from CO observations and optical extinction along the line of sight.