arXiv: Astrophysics of Galaxies | VOL. 632

First results from a large-scale proper motion study of the Galactic Centre

Publication Date Oct 17, 2019

Abstract

Proper motion studies of stars in the centre of the Milky Way have been typically limited to the Arches and Quintuplet clusters and to the central parsec. Here, we present the first results of a large-scale proper motion study of stars within several tens of parsecs of Sagittarius A* based on our $0.2''$ angular resolution GALACTICNUCLEUS survey (epoch 2015) combined with NICMOS/HST data from the Paschen-$\alpha$ survey (epoch 2008). This study will be the first extensive proper motion study of the central $\sim 36' \times 16'$ of the Galaxy, which is not covered adequately by any of the existing astronomical surveys such as Gaia because of its extreme interstellar extinction ($A_{V} \gtrsim 30$ mag). Proper motions can help us to disentangle the different stellar populations along the line-of-sight and interpret their properties in combination with multi-wavelength photometry from GALACTICNUCLEUS and other sources. It also allows us to infer the dynamics and interrelationship between the different stellar components of the Galactic Centre (GC). In particular, we use proper motions to detect co-moving groups of stars which can trace low mass or partially dissolved young clusters in the GC that can hardly be discovered by any other means. Our pilot study in this work is on a field in the nuclear bulge associated by HII regions that show the presence of young stars. We detect the first group of co-moving stars coincident with an HII region. Using colour-magnitude diagrams, we infer that the co-moving stars are consistent with ...

Galactic Centre
Post-main Sequence Stars
HII Region
Proper Motion
Quintuplet Clusters
Multi-wavelength Photometry
Large-scale Motion
Colour-magnitude Diagrams
Young Cluster
Milky Way

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