Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas de la
UNLP, IALP-CONICET, Paseo del Bosque s/n 1900, La Plata, Argentina e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 SIM/IDL, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Ed. C8, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal e-mail: email@example.com
3 ESO, Alonso de Cordova 3107, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
4 UNIFEI, Instituto de Ciências Exatas, Universidade Federal de Itajubá, Itajubá MG, Brazil e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 10 August 2009
Aims. We aim to determine accurate distances and ages of eight open clusters in order to: (1) assess their possible binarity (2) provide probes to trace the structure of the Third Galactic Quadrant.
Methods. Cluster reddenings, distances, ages and metallicities are derived from ZAMS and isochrone fits in UBVRI photometric diagrams. Field contamination is reduced by restricting analysis to stars within the cluster limits derived from star counts. Further membership control is done by requiring that stars have consistent positions in several diagrams and by using published spectral types.
Results. The derived distances, ages and metallicities have shown that none of the analysed clusters compose binary/double systems. Of the four candidate pairs, only NGC 2383/NGC 2384 are close to each other, but have different metallicities and ages. Ruprecht 72 and Ruprecht 158 are not clusters but fluctuations of the field stellar density. Haffner 18 is found to be the superposition of two stellar groups at different distances: Haffner 18(1) at 4.5 kpc and Haffner 18(2) between 9.5 and 11.4 kpc from the Sun. The derived distances and ages have been used to situate the clusters in the Galactic context. In particular, young stellar groups trace spiral structure at large Galactocentric radii. At least two clusters formed during the last few 108 yr in an interstellar medium with less than solar abundances.
Conclusions. In contrast with the LMC, double clusters are apparently rare, or even non existent, in the undisturbed environment of the Third Galactic Quadrant. This leaves open the question of whether binary clusters form more easily toward denser and more violent regions of the Milky Way such as the inner Galaxy.
Key words: Galaxy: structure / open clusters and associations: general
The original photometry is only available in electronic form at CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (126.96.36.199) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/511/A38
© ESO, 2010