High reddening patches in Gaia DR2. Possible artifacts or indication of star formation at the edge of the Galactic disk
Context. Deep GALEX UV data show that the extreme outskirts of some spiral galaxies are teeming with star formation. Such young stellar populations evolving so far away from the bulk of their host galaxies challenge our overall understanding of how star formation proceeds at galactic scales. It is at present unclear whether our own Milky Way may also exhibit ongoing and recent star formation beyond the conventional edge of the disk (∼15 kpc).
Aims: Using Gaia DR2 data, we aim to determine if such a population is present in the Galactic halo, beyond the nominal radius of the Milky Way disk.
Methods: We studied the kinematics of Gaia DR2 sources with parallax values between 1/60 and 1/30 milliarcseconds towards two regions that show abnormally high values of extinction and reddening; the results are compared with predictions from GALAXIA Galactic model. We also plotted the color-magnitude (CM) diagrams with heliocentric distances computed inverting the parallaxes, and studied the effects of the large parallax errors by Monte Carlo sampling.
Results: The kinematics point towards a Galactic origin for one of the regions, while the provenance of the stars in the other is not clear. A spectroscopic analysis of some of the sources in the first region confirms that they are located in the halo. The CM diagram of the sources suggests that some of them are young.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- February 2020
- Galaxy: stellar content;
- Galaxy: halo;
- Galaxy: structure;
- Galaxy: evolution;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 6 pages, 8 figures. Accepted for publication in A&