Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 638A, 9-9 (2020/6-1)
A census of the nearby Pisces-Eridanus stellar stream. Commonalities with and disparities from the Pleiades.
ROSER S. and SCHILBACH E.
Abstract (from CDS):
Aims. Within a sphere of 400 pc radius around the Sun, we aim to search for members of the Pisces-Eridanus (Psc-Eri) stellar stream in the Gaia Data Release 2 data set. We compare basic astrophysical characteristics of the stream with those of the Pleiades. Methods. We used a modified convergent-point method to identify stars with 2D velocities consistent with the space velocity of the Psc-Eri stream and the Pleiades, respectively. Results. In a G magnitude range from 5.1mag to 19.3mag, we found 1387 members of the Psc-Eri stream at distances between 80 and 380pc from the Sun. The stream has a nearly cylindrical shape with a length of at least 700pc and a thickness of 100pc. The accumulated stellar mass of the 1387 members amounts to about 770M☉, and the stream is gravitationally unbound. For the stream, we found an age of about 135Myr. In many astrophysical properties, Psc-Eri is comparable to the open cluster M45 (the Pleiades): in its age, its luminosity function, its present-day mass function, as well as in its total mass. Nonetheless, the two stellar ensembles are completely different in their physical appearance. We cautiously give two possible explanations for this disagreement: (i) the star formation efficiency in their parental molecular clouds was higher for the Pleiades than for Psc-Eri, and/or (ii) the Pleiades had a higher primordial mass segregation immediately after the expulsion of the molecular gas of the parental cloud.