skip to main content

Title: Mapping luminous hot stars in the Galaxy
Luminous hot stars ( M K s  ≲ 0 mag and T eff  ≳ 8000 K) dominate the stellar energy input to the interstellar medium throughout cosmological time, are used as laboratories to test theories of stellar evolution and multiplicity, and serve as luminous tracers of star formation in the Milky Way and other galaxies. Massive stars occupy well-defined loci in colour–colour and colour–magnitude spaces, enabling selection based on the combination of Gaia EDR3 astrometry and photometry and 2MASS photometry, even in the presence of substantive dust extinction. In this paper we devise an all-sky sample of such luminous OBA-type stars, which was designed to be complete rather than very pure, providing targets for spectroscopic follow-up with the SDSS-V survey. To estimate the purity and completeness of our catalogue, we derive stellar parameters for the stars in common with LAMOST DR6 and we compare the sample to other O and B-type star catalogues. We estimate ‘astro-kinematic’ distances by combining parallaxes and proper motions with a model for the expected velocity and density distribution of young stars; we show that this adds useful constraints on the distances and therefore luminosities of the stars. With these distances we map the spatial distribution of a more more » stringently selected subsample across the Galactic disc, and find it to be highly structured, with distinct over- and under-densities. The most evident over-densities can be associated with the presumed spiral arms of the Milky Way, in particular the Sagittarius-Carina and Scutum-Centaurus arms. Yet, the spatial picture of the Milky Way’s young disc structure emerging in this study is complex, and suggests that most young stars in our Galaxy ( t age  <  t dyn ) are not neatly organised into distinct spiral arms. The combination of the comprehensive spectroscopy to come from SDSS-V (yielding velocities, ages, etc.) with future Gaia data releases will be crucial in order to reveal the dynamical nature of the spiral arms themselves. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
2034429
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10298458
Journal Name:
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume:
650
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
A112
ISSN:
0004-6361
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. ABSTRACT

    We present stellar variability towards the young open cluster NGC 6823. Time series V- and I-band CCD photometry led to identification and characterization of 88 variable stars, of which only 14 have been previously recognized. We ascertain the membership of each variable with optical UBVI and infrared photometry, and with Gaia EDR3 parallax and proper motion data. Seventy two variable stars are found to be cluster members, of which 25 are main sequence stars and 48 are pre-main-sequence stars. The probable cluster members collectively suggest an isochrone age of the cluster to be about 2 Myrs based on the GAIA photometry. With the colour and magnitude, as well as the shape of the light curve, we have classified the main sequence variables into β Cep, δ Scuti, slowly pulsating B type, and new class variables. Among the pre-main-sequence variables, eight are classical T Tauri variables, and four are Herbig Ae/Be objects, whereas the remaining belong to the weak-lined T Tauri population. The variable nature of 32 stars is validated with TESS light curves. Our work provides refined classification of variability of pre-main-sequence and main-sequence cluster members of the active star-forming complex, Sharpless 86. Despite no strong evidence of the disc-locking mechanism in the presentmore »sample of TTSs, one TTS with larger Δ(I − K) is found to be a slow rotator.

    « less
  2. Context. In spiral galaxies, star formation tends to trace features of the spiral pattern, including arms, spurs, feathers, and branches. However, in our own Milky Way, it has been challenging to connect individual star-forming regions to their larger Galactic environment owing to our perspective from within the disk. One feature in nearly all modern models of the Milky Way is the Sagittarius Arm, located inward of the Sun with a pitch angle of ∼12°. Aims. We map the 3D locations and velocities of star-forming regions in a segment of the Sagittarius Arm using young stellar objects (YSOs) from the Spitzer /IRAC Candidate YSO (SPICY) catalog to compare their distribution to models of the arm. Methods. Distances and velocities for these objects are derived from Gaia EDR3 astrometry and molecular line surveys. We infer parallaxes and proper motions for spatially clustered groups of YSOs and estimate their radial velocities from the velocities of spatially associated molecular clouds. Results. We identify 25 star-forming regions in the Galactic longitude range ℓ  ∼ 4.​ ° 0–18.​ ° 5 arranged in a narrow, ∼1 kpc long linear structure with a high pitch angle of ψ  = 56° and a high aspect ratio of ∼7:1. This structure includes massive star-forming regions suchmore »as M8, M16, M17, and M20. The motions in the structure are remarkably coherent, with velocities in the direction of Galactic rotation of | V φ |≈240 ± 3 km s −1 (slightly higher than average) and slight drifts inward ( V R  ≈ −4.3 km s −1 ) and in the negative Z direction ( V Z  ≈ −2.9 km s −1 ). The rotational shear experienced by the structure is ΔΩ = 4.6 km s −1 kpc −1 . Conclusions. The observed 56° pitch angle is remarkably high for a segment of the Sagittarius Arm. We discuss possible interpretations of this feature as a substructure within the lower pitch angle Sagittarius Arm, as a spur, or as an isolated structure.« less
  3. The Radcliffe wave is a ∼3 kpc long coherent gas structure containing most of the star-forming complexes near the Sun. In this Letter we aim to find a Galactic context for the Radcliffe wave by looking into a possible relationship between the gas structure and the Orion (local) arm. We use catalogs of massive stars and young open clusters based on Gaia Early Data Release 3 (EDR3) astrometry, in conjunction with kiloparsec-scale 3D dust maps, to investigate the Galactic XY spatial distributions of gas and young stars. We find a quasi-parallel offset between the luminous blue stars and the Radcliffe wave, in that massive stars and clusters are found essentially inside and downstream from the Radcliffe wave. We examine this offset in the context of color gradients observed in the spiral arms of external galaxies, where the interplay between density wave theory, spiral shocks, and triggered star formation has been used to interpret this particular arrangement of gas and dust as well as OB stars, and outline other potential explanations as well. We hypothesize that the Radcliffe wave constitutes the gas reservoir of the Orion (local) arm, and that it presents itself as a prime laboratory to study the interfacemore »between Galactic structure, the formation of molecular clouds in the Milky Way, and star formation.« less
  4. We investigate the inner regions of the Milky Way using data from APOGEE and Gaia EDR3. Our inner Galactic sample has more than 26 500 stars within | X Gal |< 5 kpc, | Y Gal |< 3.5 kpc, | Z Gal |< 1 kpc, and we also carry out the analysis for a foreground-cleaned subsample of 8000 stars that is more representative of the bulge–bar populations. These samples allow us to build chemo-dynamical maps of the stellar populations with vastly improved detail. The inner Galaxy shows an apparent chemical bimodality in key abundance ratios [ α /Fe], [C/N], and [Mn/O], which probe different enrichment timescales, suggesting a star formation gap (quenching) between the high- and low- α populations. Using a joint analysis of the distributions of kinematics, metallicities, mean orbital radius, and chemical abundances, we can characterize the different populations coexisting in the innermost regions of the Galaxy for the first time. The chemo-kinematic data dissected on an eccentricity–| Z | max plane reveal the chemical and kinematic signatures of the bar, the thin inner disc, and an inner thick disc, and a broad metallicity population with large velocity dispersion indicative of a pressure-supported component. The interplay between thesemore »different populations is mapped onto the different metallicity distributions seen in the eccentricity–| Z | max diagram consistently with the mean orbital radius and V ϕ distributions. A clear metallicity gradient as a function of | Z | max is also found, which is consistent with the spatial overlapping of different populations. Additionally, we find and chemically and kinematically characterize a group of counter-rotating stars that could be the result of a gas-rich merger event or just the result of clumpy star formation during the earliest phases of the early disc that migrated into the bulge. Finally, based on 6D information, we assign stars a probability value of being on a bar orbit and find that most of the stars with large bar orbit probabilities come from the innermost 3 kpc, with a broad dispersion of metallicity. Even stars with a high probability of belonging to the bar show chemical bimodality in the [ α /Fe] versus [Fe/H] diagram. This suggests bar trapping to be an efficient mechanism, explaining why stars on bar orbits do not show a significant, distinct chemical abundance ratio signature.« less
  5. ABSTRACT Stellar ages are a crucial component to studying the evolution of the Milky Way. Using Gaia DR2 distance estimates, it is now possible to estimate stellar ages for a larger volume of evolved stars through isochrone matching. This work presents [M/H]–age and [α/M]–age relations derived for different spatial locations in the Milky Way disc. These relations are derived by hierarchically modelling the star formation history of stars within a given chemical abundance bin. For the first time, we directly observe that significant variation is apparent in the [M/H]–age relation as a function of both Galactocentric radius and distance from the disc mid-plane. The [M/H]–age relations support claims that radial migration has a significant effect in the plane of the disc. Using the [M/H] bin with the youngest mean age at each radial zone in the plane of the disc, the present-day metallicity gradient is measured to be −0.059 ± 0.010 dex kpc−1, in agreement with Cepheids and young field stars. We find a vertically flared distribution of young stars in the outer disc, confirming predictions of models and previous observations. The mean age of the [M/H]–[α/M] distribution of the solar neighbourhood suggests that the high-[M/H] stars are not an evolutionary extensionmore »of the low-α sequence. Our observational results are important constraints to Galactic simulations and models of chemical evolution.« less