Astrophys. J., 923, 21-21 (2021/December-2)
NGC 1605a and NGC 1605b: an old binary open cluster in the Galaxy.
Abstract (from CDS):
This work communicates the discovery of a binary open cluster within the Galaxy. NGC 1605 presents an unusual morphology with a sparse stellar distribution and a double core in close angular proximity. The 2MASS and Gaia-EDR3 field-star decontaminated color-magnitude diagrams (CMDs) show two distinct stellar populations located at the same heliocentric distance of ∼2.6 kpc, suggesting that there are two clusters in the region, NGC 1605a and NGC 1605b, with ages of 2 Gyr and 600 Myr, respectively. Both Gaia parallax and PM distributions are compact and very similar indicating that they are open clusters (OCs) and share the same kinematics. The large age difference, 1.4 Gyr, point to a formation by tidal capture during a close encounter and the close spatial proximity and similar kinematics suggest an ongoing merger event. There is some prominent tidal debris that appears to trace the cluster's orbits during the close encounter and, unexpectedly, some of them appear to be bound structures; this may suggest that in addition to the evaporation, the merging clusters are being broken apart into smaller structures by the combination of the Galactic disk, the Perseus arm, and mutual tidal interactions. In this sense, the newly found binary cluster may be a key object in the observational validation of theoretical studies on binary cluster pairs formation by tidal capture as well as in the formation of massive clusters by merging, and tidal disruption of stellar systems.
© 2021. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Open star clusters - Star clusters - Tidal friction - Tidal interaction - Stellar streams
Status at CDS
Examining the need for a new acronym.
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