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Title: DISCOVERY OF A PAIR OF CLASSICAL CEPHEIDS IN AN INVISIBLE CLUSTER BEYOND THE GALACTIC BULGE

We report the discovery of a pair of extremely reddened classical Cepheid variable stars located in the Galactic plane behind the bulge, using near-infrared (NIR) time-series photometry from the VISTA Variables in the Vía Láctea Survey. This is the first time that such objects have ever been found in the opposite side of the Galactic plane. The Cepheids have almost identical periods, apparent brightnesses, and colors. From the NIR Leavitt law, we determine their distances with ∼1.5% precision and ∼8% accuracy. We find that they have a same total extinction of A(V)≃32 mag, and are located at the same heliocentric distance of 〈d〉=11.4±0.9 kpc, and less than 1 pc from the true Galactic plane. Their similar periods indicate that the Cepheids are also coeval, with an age of ∼48±3 Myr, according to theoretical models. They are separated by an angular distance of only 18.″3, corresponding to a projected separation of ∼1 pc. Their position coincides with the expected location of the Far 3 kpc Arm behind the bulge. Such a tight pair of similar classical Cepheids indicates the presence of an underlying young open cluster that is both hidden behind heavy extinction and disguised by the dense stellar field ofmore » the bulge. All our attempts to directly detect this “invisible cluster” have failed, and deeper observations are needed. (letters)« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ; ; ; ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. Millennium Institute of Astrophysics, Santiago (Chile)
  2. Departamento de Ciencias Físicas, Universidad Andres Bello, República 220, Santiago (Chile)
  3. Instituto de Astrofísica, Facultad de Física, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Av. Vicuña Mackenna 4860, Santiago (Chile)
  4. Departamento de Astronomía, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla 160 C, Concepción (Chile)
  5. Department of Astronomy and Physics, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, NS B3H 3C3 (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364456
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 799; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCURACY; BRIGHTNESS; CEPHEIDS; DISTANCE; GALAXIES; NEAR INFRARED RADIATION; PHOTOMETRY; STAR CLUSTERS