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Home » HCT and Gaia data reveal properties of young open cluster NGC 2345

HCT and Gaia data reveal properties of young open cluster NGC 2345

Indian astronomers, armed with the Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) and ESA's Gaia satellite, have embarked on a groundbreaking of the enigmatic young open cluster, NGC 2345. Published on the esteemed preprint server arXiv on March 7, their findings promise to illuminate the cluster's intricacies and unveil its secrets.

Open clusters, celestial marvels birthed from the same cosmic crucible of giant molecular clouds, offer a captivating glimpse into the cosmic tapestry. With over 1,000 such clusters discovered within the Milky Way, astronomers are driven by an insatiable curiosity to uncover more, seeking to unravel the mysteries of stellar congregation. By delving into the heart of these clusters, scientists aim to decipher the cosmic choreography that shapes our 's .

NGC 2345, also known as OCL 575, emerges as a stellar jewel in the celestial firmament—a youthful galactic ensemble adorned with a subtle hint of cosmic rarity. Nestled some 10,000 light-years distant within the Milky Way's sprawling disk, this cluster stands as a beacon of astronomical intrigue. Renowned for its eclectic stellar population, boasting a bounty of Be alongside resplendent blue and red supergiants, NGC 2345 beckons astronomers to probe its depths and unlock the secrets of stellar evolution.

Led by Kuldeep Belwal of the Indian Center for Space Physics in Kolkata, a team of astronomers embarked on a quest to unravel the mysteries shrouding NGC 2345. Armed with the formidable Hanle Faint Object Spectrograph Camera (HFOSC) mounted on the HCT and augmented by data from Gaia's Data Release 3 (DR3), the researchers embarked on a journey of discovery. Their odyssey was further enriched by datasets from the Two Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) and the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) Photometric All-Sky Survey (APASS), weaving a rich tapestry of cosmic exploration.

In a pioneering endeavor, the astronomers meticulously sifted through the stellar tapestry of NGC 2345, discerning 1,732 celestial denizens deemed most likely to be true members of the cluster, their membership probability soaring above 70%. Armed with this stellar ensemble, the astronomers embarked on a quest to unveil the cluster's fundamental essence and structural intricacies.

Their journey unveiled tantalizing revelations: NGC 2345, ensconced at a distance of approximately 9,100 light-years, unveils its celestial expanse spanning 33.8 light-years. Within its heart beats a core measuring 10.3 light-years, encircled by a tidal embrace extending to 64.9 light-years—a testament to the gravitational ballet shaping the cluster's destiny.

The astronomers uncovered the cluster's celestial motion, tracing its graceful arc across the cosmic stage. With a mean proper motion in right ascension and declination recorded at -1.34 and 1.35 milliarcseconds per year, respectively, NGC 2345 leaves its indelible mark upon the celestial canvas. Cloaked in a reddening haze of 0.63 magnitudes, the cluster whispers secrets of its age, a cosmic chronicle etched in the stars—a youthful 63 million years.

Yet, amidst its celestial ballet, NGC 2345 bears witness to the cosmic dance of segregation. The astronomers discerned telltale signs within the cluster's core, halo, and beyond—a cosmic ballet unfolding before their eyes. And as the ages pass, they predict an ongoing saga—a tale of dynamical relaxation, foretold to culminate in celestial harmony after 100 million years of cosmic embrace.

But the story of NGC 2345 extends beyond its celestial abode, weaving a narrative that spans the cosmic expanse. The astronomers unveil its celestial pilgrimage, tracing its journey through the Milky Way's celestial tapestry—a circular odyssey yet incomplete, a celestial voyage awaiting its cosmic denouement.