Study finds open cluster NGC 2682 at least two times larger than previously thought

phys.org | 7/25/2014 | Staff
joseph76 (Posted by) Level 3
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Based on new data from ESA's Gaia satellite, astronomers have provided more insights into properties of the nearby open cluster NGC 2682, revealing that its size is at least two times greater than previously believed. The findings are detailed in a paper published May 6 on the arXiv pre-print repository.

Located some 2,800 light years away, NGC 2682 (aka Messier 67, or M67 for short) is an open cluster in the constellation of Cancer. With an estimated age of about 3.6 billion years, it is one of the nearest old open clusters. Notably, its age and initial chemical composition is similar to that of the sun, hence astronomers even considered that the sun might actually have originated from NGC 2682.

Year - Catalog - Data - Gaia - Satellite

Published about one year ago, the latest catalog of data from Gaia satellite (known as Data Release 2, or DR2) provides high-precision measurements, including positions in the sky, parallaxes and proper motions for more than 1 billion sources in the Milky Way. The release contains observational data collected by Gaia in the timespan of nearly two years – between July 25, 2014 and May 23, 2016.

DR2 has the potential of revealing more insights into the nature of NGC 2682 as astrometric information in this release could be a valuable tool to investigate extra-tidal regions of several open clusters in the solar neighborhood. So a team of European astronomers led by Ricardo Carrera of Astronomical Observatory of Padova in Italy recently decided to use DR2 in...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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