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New evidence on the origin of the microquasar GRO J1655-40
Aims.Motivated by the new determination of the distance to themicroquasar GRO J1655-40 by Foellmi et al. (2006,A&A, 457, 249), we conduct a detailed study of the distribution ofthe atomic (HI) gas, molecular (CO) gas, and dust around the opencluster NGC 6242, the possible birth place of the microquasar (Mirabelet al. 2002, A&A, 395, 595). The proximity and relative height ofthe cluster on the galactic disk provides a unique opportunity to studySNR evolution and its possible physical link with microquasarformation. Methods: We search in the interstellar atomic andmolecular gas around NGC 6242 for traces that may have been left from asupernova explosion associated to the formation of the black hole inGRO J1655-40. Furthermore, the 60/100 μm IR coloris used as a tracer of shocked-heated dust. Results: At thekinematical distance of the cluster the observations have revealed theexistence of a HI hole of 1.5° × 1.5° in diameter andcompressed CO material acumulated along the south-eastern internalborder of the HI cavity. In this same area, we found extended infraredemission with characteristics of shocked-heated dust. Based on themorphology and physical characteristics of the HI, CO and FIR emissions,we suggest that the cavity in the ISM was produced by a supernovaexplosion occured within NGC 6242. The lower limit to the kinematicenergy transferred by the supernova shock to the surroundinginterstellar medium is ~1049 erg and the atomic and molecularmass displaced to form the cavity of ~16.500 Mȯ. Thelower limit to the time elapsed since the SN explosion is ~2.2×105 yr, which is consistent with the time required byGRO J1655-40 to move from the cluster up to itspresent position. The observations suggest that GROJ1655-40 could have been born inside NGC 6242, being one ofthe nearest microquasars known so far.

On the current status of open-cluster parameters
We aim to characterize the current status of knowledge on the accuracyof open-cluster parameters such as the age, reddening and distance.These astrophysical quantities are often used to study the globalcharacteristics of the Milky Way down to the very local stellarphenomena. In general, the errors of these quantities are neglected orset to some kind of heuristic standard value. We attempt to give somerealistic estimates for the accuracy of available cluster parameters byusing the independently derived values published in the literature. Intotal, 6437 individual estimates for 395 open clusters were used in ourstatistical analysis. We discuss the error sources depending ontheoretical as well as observational methods and compare our resultswith those parameters listed in the widely used catalogue by Dias et al.In addition, we establish a list of 72 open clusters with the mostaccurate known parameters which should serve as a standard table in thefuture for testing isochrones and stellar models.

On the distance of GRO J1655-40
Aims.We challenge the accepted distance of 3.2 kpc of GRO J1655-40. Wepresent VLT-UVES spectroscopic observations to estimate the absorptiontoward the source, and determine a maximum distance of GRO J1655-40. Methods: .We show that the accepted value of 3.2 kpc is taken forgranted by many authors. We retrieved in the ESO archive UVES spectrataken in April 2004 when GRO J1655-40 was in quiescence to determine thespectral type of the secondary star. For the first time we build aflux-calibrated mean (UVES) spectrum of GRO J1655-40 and compare itsobserved flux to that of five nearby stars of similar spectral types. Westrengthen our results with the traditional pair method, using publishedphotometric data of the comparison stars. Results: .We show thatthe distance of 3.2 kpc is questionable. We determine a spectral typeF6IV for the secondary star. We demonstrate in details that the distanceof GRO J1655-40 must be smaller than 1.7 kpc. Conclusions: .Therunaway black hole GRO J1655-40 could be associated with the opencluster NGC 6242 which is located at 1.0 ± 0.1 kpc from the Sun.At D ≤ 1.7 kpc the jets are not a superluminal, and GRO J1655-40becomes one of the closest known black holes to the Sun.

Photometric and Coravel observations of red giant candidates in three open clusters: membership, binarity, reddening and metallicity
Aims.We present new CORAVEL radial-velocity observations andphotoelectric photometry in the UBV and DDO systems for a sample ofpotential members of the red-giant branches of NGC 6192, NGC 6208 andNGC 6268, three open clusters projected close to the Galactic centerdirection. We also examine the properties of a sample of 42 inner diskopen clusters projected towards almost the same direction as the threeclusters. Methods: .Cluster members and red field giants werediscriminated by using the CORAVEL radial-velocity data and by applyingtwo photometric criteria. Interstellar reddening and metal content ofthe clusters were derived from combined BV and DDO data. Results:.Cluster membership for five red giants in NGC 6192, three in NGC 6208and three in NGC 6268 has been confirmed by the analysis of thephotometric and kinematic data. Photometric membership probabilitiesshow very good agreement with those obtained from CORAVEL radialvelocities. Three new spectroscopic binaries were discovered among thered giants of NGC 6192 and NGC 6208. Mean radial velocities and E(B-V)colour excesses were derived. Conclusions: .The overallmetallicities were found to be nearly solar for NGC 6208 and above solarfor NGC 6192 and NGC 6268. Most of the clusters located closer than 2kpc from the Sun in the considered direction are slightly more reddenedthan the absorption resulting from the Baade's window absorption law.

Proper motion determination of open clusters based on the UCAC2 catalogue
We present the kinematics of hundreds of open clusters, based on theUCAC2 Catalogue positions and proper motions. Membership probabilitieswere obtained for the stars in the cluster fields by applying astatistical method uses stellar proper motions. All open clusters withknown distance were investigated, and for 75 clusters this is the firstdetermination of the mean proper motion. The results, including the DSSimages of the cluster's fields with the kinematic members marked, areincorporated in the Open Clusters Catalogue supported on line by ourgroup.

Astrophysical parameters of Galactic open clusters
We present a catalogue of astrophysical data for 520 Galactic openclusters. These are the clusters for which at least three most probablemembers (18 on average) could be identified in the ASCC-2.5, a catalogueof stars based on the Tycho-2 observations from the Hipparcos mission.We applied homogeneous methods and algorithms to determine angular sizesof cluster cores and coronae, heliocentric distances, mean propermotions, mean radial velocities, and ages. For the first time we derivedistances for 200 clusters, radial velocities for 94 clusters, and agesof 196 clusters. This homogeneous new parameter set is compared withearlier determinations, where we find, in particular, that the angularsizes were systematically underestimated in the literature.

A CCD BVI Photometric Study of the Young, Highly Reddened Open Cluster NGC 6318
We present CCD BVI photometry for the southern open cluster NGC 6318.The sample consists of 9876 stars measured in an area of13.6m×13.6m, extending down to V~21.5 mag. Star countscarried out within and outside the cluster region allowed us to estimatethe cluster angular radius as ~8'. The comparison of the clustercolor-magnitude diagrams with isochrones of the Geneva group yieldsE(B-V)=1.20+/-0.05, E(V-I)=1.55+/-0.10, and V-MV=15.45+/-0.35for logt=8.20 (t=160 Myr) and Z=0.020. NGC 6318 is then located at2.1+/-0.5 kpc from the Sun and 30 pc below the Galactic plane. Using theWEBDA open cluster database, we examined the structure of the Galacticdisk along the line of sight of NGC 6318. Among the known clusters inthis direction, HM 1 and BH 222 are the farthest ones, while thoselocated between 1 and 2 kpc of the Sun appear to be more absorbed thanthose expected to follow a quasi-linear extinction law.

Astrophysical supplements to the ASCC-2.5. II. Membership probabilities in 520 Galactic open cluster sky areas
We present a catalogue (CSOCA ) of stars residing in 520 Galactic opencluster sky areas which is the result of the kinematic (proper motion)and photometric member selection of stars listed in the homogeneousAll-sky Compiled Catalogue of 2.5 Million Stars (ASCC-2.5). We describethe structure and contents of the catalogue, the selection procedureapplied, and the proper motion and photometric membership constraintsadopted. In every cluster area the CSOCA contains the complete list ofthe ASCC-2.5 stars regardless of their membership probability. Forevery star the CSOCA includes accurate J2000 equatorial coordinates,proper motions in the Hipparcos system, BV photometric data in theJohnson system, proper motion and photometric membership probabilities,as well as angular distances from the cluster centers for about 166 000ASCC-2.5 stars. If available, trigonometric parallaxes, spectral types,multiplicity and variability flags from the ASCC-2.5, and radialvelocities with their errors from the Catalogue of Radial Velocities ofGalactic Stars with high precision Astrometric Data (CRVAD) are alsogiven.

Proper Motions of Open Star Clusters and the Rotation Rate of the Galaxy
The mean proper motions of 167 Galactic open clusters withradial-velocity measurements are computed from the data of the Tycho-2catalog using kinematic and photometric cluster membership criteria. Theresulting catalog is compared to the results of other studies. The newproper motions are used to infer the Galactic rotation rate at the solarcircle, which is found to be ω0=+24.6±0.8 km s-1 kpc-1.Analysis of the dependence of the dispersion of ω0 estimates onheliocentric velocity showed that even the proper motions of clusterswith distances r>3 kpc contain enough useful information to be usedin kinematic studies demonstrating that the determination of propermotions is quite justified even for very distant clusters.

The runaway black hole GRO J1655-40
We have used the Hubble Space Telescope to measure the motion in the skyand compute the galactocentric orbit of the black hole X-ray binary GROJ1655-40. The system moves with a runaway space velocity of 112+/- 18 kms-1 in a highly eccentric (e = 0.34+/- 0.05) orbit. The blackhole was formed in the disk at a distance greater than 3 kpc from theGalactic centre and must have been shot to such an eccentric orbit bythe explosion of the progenitor star. The runaway linear momentum andkinetic energy of this black hole binary are comparable to those ofsolitary neutron stars and millisecond pulsars. GRO J1655-40 is thefirst black hole for which there is evidence for a runaway motionimparted by a natal kick in a supernova explosion. Based on observationswith the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the SpaceTelescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc. undercontract No NAS 5-26555.

Warps and correlations with intrinsic parameters of galaxies in the visible and radio
From a comparison of the different parameters of warped galaxies in theradio, and especially in the visible, we find that: a) No large galaxy(large mass or radius) has been found to have high amplitude in thewarp, and there is no correlation of size/mass with the degree ofasymmetry of the warp. b) The disc density and the ratio of dark toluminous mass show an opposing trend: smaller values give moreasymmetric warps in the inner radii (optical warps) but show nocorrelation with the amplitude of the warp; however, in the externalradii is there no correlation with asymmetry. c) A third anticorrelationappears in a comparison of the amplitude and degree of asymmetry in thewarped galaxies. Hence, it seems that very massive dark matter haloeshave nothing to do with the formation of warps but only with the degreeof symmetry in the inner radii, and are unrelated to the warp shape forthe outermost radii. Denser discs show the same dependence.

Two highly reddened young open clusters located beyond the Sagittarius arm
We present the results of CCD BVI Johnson-Cousins photometry down to V ~19 mag in the regions of the unstudied stellar groups Pismis 23 and BH222, both projected close to the direction towards the Galactic centre.We measured V magnitude and B-V and V-I colours for a total of 928 starsin fields of about 4arcmin x4arcmin . Pismis 23 is conclusively aphysical system, since a clear main sequence and other meaningfulfeatures can be seen in the colour-magnitude diagrams. The reality ofthis cluster is also supported by star counts carried out within andoutside the cluster field. For Pismis 23 we derive colour excessesE(B-V) = 2.0 +/- 0.1 and E(V-I) = 2.6 +/- 0.1, a distance from the Sunof 2.6 +/- 0.6 kpc (Z = -19 pc) and an age of 300 +/- 100 Myr (assumingsolar metal content). BH 222 appears to be a young open cluster formedby a vertical main sequence and by a conspicuous group of luminous,typically red supergiant stars. We derived for this cluster a colourexcess of E(V-I) = 2.4 +/- 0.2, a distance from the Sun of 6.0 +/- 2.7kpc (Z = -46 pc) and an age of 60 +/- 30 Myr. The resulting reddeningand distance estimates place these two young objects among the mostreddened and distant open clusters known in the direction towards theGalactic centre. They are located beyond the Sagittarius arm, close tothe direction where this arm probably bifurcates into two arms. Based onobservations made at the University of Toronto (David DunlapObservatory) 24-inch telescope, Las Campanas, Chile. Tables \ref{t2} and3 are only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/388/179

Proper motions of open clusters based on the TYCHO2 Catalogue. II. Clusters farther than 1 kpc
We determined the mean absolute proper motion of 94 open clusterssituated farther than 1 kpc from the Sun. The results are derived fromthe stellar proper motion data given in the Tycho2 Catalogue. The meanproper motion of the clusters and membership probability of individualstars were obtained from the proper motion data by applying thestatistical method proposed by Sanders (\cite{Sanders1971}). Themeasurements made use of a large number of stars, usually several tens,for each cluster. The total number of stars investigated in the fieldsof the clusters is 4864 of which 2021 were considered members. For 55clusters, this is the first determination of the proper motion. Based onobservations of the ESA Hipparcos satellite. Tables 1 to 95 are onlyavailable in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/388/168

Absolute proper motions of open clusters. I. Observational data
Mean proper motions and parallaxes of 205 open clusters were determinedfrom their member stars found in the Hipparcos Catalogue. 360 clusterswere searched for possible members, excluding nearby clusters withdistances D < 200 pc. Members were selected using ground basedinformation (photometry, radial velocity, proper motion, distance fromthe cluster centre) and information provided by Hipparcos (propermotion, parallax). Altogether 630 certain and 100 possible members werefound. A comparison of the Hipparcos parallaxes with photometricdistances of open clusters shows good agreement. The Hipparcos dataconfirm or reject the membership of several Cepheids in the studiedclusters. Tables 1 and 2 are only available in electronic form at theCDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html

Composite M V versus (V-I) 0 Diagram for Template Open Clusters
New CCD VI photometric data for 10 template open clusters withaccurately determined fundamental parameters are presented. From theobserved V versus V - I diagrams of the clusters, fiducial sequenceshave been defined and transformed into the Mv versus (V - I)0 diagram byaveraging sequences of template open clusters with similar ages. Theresulting composite Mv versus (V - I)0 diagram presents a homogeneousset of empirical isochrones in the age range between 5 Myr and 4 Gyr.These empirical isochrones show an overall very good agreement withthose computed from stellar evolutionary models. Theoretical isochroneswith moderate overshooting fit the observed main sequences better thanthe canonical ones for clusters older than 600 Myr. The present set ofempirical isochrones will be useful for the study of faint reddened openclusters

Absolute proper motions of 181 young open clusters.
Not Available

DDO Metal Abundances of High-Luminosity Late-Type Stars in Galactic Open Clusters
Results from UBV and DDO photometry are presented for 54 high-luminositylate-type stars in the fields of 23 open clusters. The probability ofcluster membership for each observed star is evaluated using twoindependent photometric criteria. It is found that 32 stars are verylikely cluster members, the remaining ones being almost certainly fieldobjects. The recently improved calibrations of the DDO system have beenused to derive MK spectral types, effective temperatures, andmetallicities, while E(B-V) color excesses have been determined throughknown photometric and spectroscopic procedures. The DDO metallicitiesrange between values typical of moderately metal-poor ([Fe/H]=~ -0.3) tomoderately metal-rich ([Fe/H] =~ 0.2) clusters. The masses of thecluster giants range between 1 and 4 solar masses, with the scatterwithin a cluster being less than 1 solar mass. (SECTION: StellarClusters and Associations)

Far-Ultraviolet Stellar Photometry: Fields Centered on rho Ophiuchi and the Galactic Center
Abstract image available at:http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?1996ApJS..104..101S&db_key=AST

Far-ultraviolet stellar photometry: Fields in Sagittarius and Scorpius
Far-ultraviolet photometry for 741 objects in a field in Sagittariuscentered near M8 and 541 objects in a field centered near sigma Scorpiiis presented. These data were extracted from electographic imagesobtained with two cameras during a shuttle flight in 1991 April/May. Thecameras provided band passes with lambdaeff = 1375 A andlambdaeff = 1781 A. Synthetic colors show that these bandsare sensitive to effective temperature for hot stars. Our measurementswere placed on a quantitative far-ultraviolet magnitude scale byconvolving the spectra of stars observed by IUE with our cameras'spectral response functions. Fifty-eight percent of the ultravioletobjects were identified with visible stars using the SIMBAD databasewhile another 40% of the objects are blends of early type stars tooclose together to separate with our resolution. Our photometry iscompared with that from the TD-1, OAO 2, and ANS satellites and the S201(Apollo 16) far-ultraviolet camera and found to agree at the level of afew tenths of a magnitude. Unlike previous studies, almost half of theidentified visual counterparts to the ultraviolet objects are early Bstars. A plot of distance modulus against ultraviolet color excessreveals a significant population of stars with strong ultravioletexcess.

Catalogue of blue stragglers in open clusters.
An extensive survey of blue straggler candidates in galactic openclusters of both hemispheres is presented. The blue stragglers wereselected considering their positions in the cluster colour-magnitudediagrams.They were categorized according to the accuracy of thephotometric measurements and membership probabilities. An amount of 959blue straggler candidates in 390 open clusters of all ages wereidentified and classified. A set of basic data is given for everycluster and blue straggler. The information is arranged in the form of acatalogue. Blue stragglers are found in clusters of all ages. Thepercentage of clusters with blue stragglers generally grows with age andrichness of the clusters. The mean ratio of the number of bluestragglers to the number of cluster main sequence stars is approximatelyconstant up to a cluster age of about 10^8.6^ yr and rises for olderclusters. In general, the blue stragglers show a remarkable degree ofcentral concentration.

New dating of galactic open clusters
A new set of isochrones for solar metallicity computed from modelstaking into account mass loss and moderate overshooting and using therecent opacity tables by Rogers and Iglesias (1992) has been used todetermine the ages of 30 galactic open clusters covering an interval ofage from 4 million to 9.5 billion years. The clusters collected hereconstitute an ensemble of homogeneous and accurate data, well discussedfor distance, reddening, membership and binarity, and thus they providea basic reference for age determinations. The present set of isochronesfits the observed color-magnitude diagrams of the clusters veryaccurately, and may thus be expected to provide reliable ages. Analyticrelations between several characteristics of the isochrones and the ageare given and can be used for further age calibrations consistent withthis homogeneous scale.

Formation and evolutionary properties of the Galactic open cluster system
Results are reported from a statistical analysis of observational dataon 100 open clusters within 2 kpc of the sun, selected from the catalogof Lynga (1987). The selection criteria and the completeness of thesample are discussed; the data are compiled in a table; and the analysisresults are presented in a series of graphs and characterized in detail.A cluster formation rate of 0.45 clusters/kpc Myr is found,significantly lower than the rates determined previously (using clusterswithin 1 kpc of the sun) and corresponding to a cluster star-formationefficiency of 0.0063. The low average cluster lifetime (about 10 Myr)suggests that clusters are formed as unstable systems.

The Gould plates
Most of the 1200 photographs of southern galactic star clusters anddouble stars taken by Benjamin A. Gould at Cordoba, Argentina, in1872-1882 are in the Harvard College Observatory plate collection. Arecent evaluation of these plates shows many to be in usable condition.Details of the characteristics of Gould's plates of galactic clusters,including limiting magnitudes, are presented.

Liste des étoiles Ap et Am dans les amas ouverts (Edition révisée)
Not Available

Supergiants and the Galactic metallicity gradient. II - Spectroscopic abundances for 64 distant F- to M-type supergiants
The metallicity gradient in the Galactic disk from in situ stars withvisual magnitude ranging from 6 to 10 is analyzed. Atmosphericparameters and detailed chemical abundances for 64 Population Isupergiants of spectral types F through M and luminosity classes Iathrough II have been determined. The derived Fe/H ratios ranging from-0.5 to + 0.7 show a mean value of +0.13 with an estimated uncertaintyof + or - 0.2. A subset of 25 supergiants fainter than 7th magnitudelying in the direction of the Galactic center shows a Fe/H mean of +0.18+ or - 0.04, while a similar sample of 15 faint supergiants lying in thedirection of the Galactic anticenter shows a lower Fe/H mean of +0.07 +or - 0.06. For a sample of bright supergiants analyzed by Luck andLambert (1985), the mean abundance pattern for all 64 stars showed thefollowing: deficient C and O along with enhancement of N, indicatingmixing of CNO-cycled material to the stellar surfaces; an apparent Srenhancement attributed to departures from LTE; and an essentially solarpattern of other chemical elements.

Component Analysis of Open Clusters
Not Available

The Sagittarius-Carina Arm Structure and Parameters of Spiral Pattern
Not Available

Catalog of AP and AM stars in open clusters
The previous results of Raab (1922), Markarian (1951), and Collinder(1931) have been used to catalog Ap and Am stars that are in the fieldof open clusters. Tabular data are presented for the clusterdesignation, the HD or HDE number, the right ascension (1900), thedeclination (1900), and the magnitude. Also listed are the spectraltypes and, for certain stars, the probability of cluster membership.

Young stellar-gas complexes in the Galaxy
It is found that about 90 percent of OB-associations and o-b2 clusterssituated within 3 kpc of the sun can be united into complexes withdiameters of 150-700 pc. Almost all of these clusters contain giantmolecular clouds with a mass greater than about 100,000 solar masses. Anumber of complexes are associated with giant H I clouds; a few of thesmall complexes are situated in the HI caverns. The concentration ofOB-associations and young clusters in star complexes attests to theircommon origin in the supergiant gaseous clouds.

The Guide Star Photometric Catalog.
This paper presents data and finding charts for the Guide StarPhotometric Catalog (GSPC), which is an all-sky set of 1477pohotoelectrically determined BV sequences covering the magnitude rangefrom 9 to 15. The GSPC was created to provide photometric calibratorsfor the Guide Star Catalog, which is a catalog of approximately 2 x 10to the 7th objects needed to support the pointing of the Hubble SpaceTelescope. For declinations greater than +3 deg, the sequences generallylie near the centers of the original (Palomar Observatory-NationalGeographic Society) Sky Atlas, while for smaller declinations they lienear the centers for the ESO/SERC Southern Sky Atlas. The sequencesnominally contain (at least) six stars, each with a photometricprecision of 0.05 mag. In practice, a small number of sequences containsfewer stars, and the precisions achieved for the faintest stars are morenearly 0.1 mag.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:16h55m36.00s
Apparent magnitude:6.4

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NGC 2000.0NGC 6242

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