EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 397, Number 1, January I 2003
Page(s) 345 - 351
Section The solar system
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20021503

A&A 397, 345-351 (2003)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20021503

An extension of Herschel's method for dense and extensive catalogues

Application to the determination of solar motion
C. Abad1, 2, K. Vieira1, A. Bongiovanni1, 3, L. Romero1, 4 and B. Vicente1, 2

1  Centro de Investigaciones de Astronomía CIDA, 5101-A Mérida, Venezuela
2  Grupo de Mecánica Espacial, Depto. de Física Teórica, Universidad de Zaragoza, 50006 Zaragoza, España
3  Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV), Caracas, Venezuela
4  Universidad Metropolitana (UNIMET), Caracas, Venezuela

(Received 13 June 2002 / Accepted 10 September 2002 )

We present a way of handling and interpreting stellar proper motions, in which the idea of substituting them by great circles, proposed by Herschel in 1783, allows us to take the entire celestial sphere as a field of application, making possible the study of dense and extensive stellar zones. A suitable mathematical processing of data together with Herschel's method make up a good tool in order to search for and detect associations, clusters, systematic patterns of motion and to go deeper in the local galactic kinematic. In this paper, we explain our vision of Herschel's method, illustrating it with some practical examples. The particular case of solar motion is developed in a specific and complete way, using the whole Hipparcos catalogue, Herschel's method and our own mathe matical tool, originally designed to determine systematic trends in plates or between catalogues. The solar apex and velocity obtained here are expressed as a continuous function, depending on the distribution of the stellar spectral types.

Key words: astrometry -- galaxies: stars clusters -- methods: data analysis -- stars: kinematics

Offprint request: C. Abad, abad@cida.ve

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