We used star density maps obtained from the Two-Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) to obtain a sample of star clusters in the entire Galactic Plane with |b| < 20°. A total of 1788 star cluster candidates are identified in this survey. Among those are 681 previously known open clusters and 86 globular clusters. A statistical analysis indicates that our sample of 1021 new cluster candidates has a contamination of about 50per cent. Star cluster parameters are obtained by fitting a King profile to the star density. These parameters are used to statistically identify probable new globular cluster candidates in our sample. A detailed investigation of the projected distribution of star clusters in the Galaxy demonstrates that they show a clear tendency to cluster on spatial scales in the order of 12-25pc, a typical size for molecular clouds.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Pub Date:
- January 2007
- methods: statistical;
- globular clusters: general;
- open clusters and associations: general;
- 31 pages, 7 Figures, 3 Tables, Accepted for publication by MNRAS, A version with higher resolution figures can be found at http://astro.kent.ac.uk/~df/