Volume 564, April 2014
|Number of page(s)||14|
|Section||Celestial mechanics and astrometry|
|Published online||03 April 2014|
An updated maximum likelihood approach to open cluster distance determination⋆
1 Dept. d’Astronomia i Meteorologia, Institut de Ciències del Cosmos, Universitat de Barcelona (IEEC-UB), Martí Franquès 1, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
2 GEPI, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, Université Paris Diderot, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92190 Meudon, France
Received: 12 November 2013
Accepted: 31 January 2014
Aims. An improved method for estimating distances to open clusters is presented and applied to Hipparcos data for the Pleiades and the Hyades. The method is applied in the context of the historic Pleiades distance problem, with a discussion of previous criticisms of Hipparcos parallaxes. This is followed by an outlook for Gaia, where the improved method could be especially useful.
Methods. Based on maximum likelihood estimation, the method combines parallax, position, apparent magnitude, colour, proper motion, and radial velocity information to estimate the parameters describing an open cluster precisely and without bias.
Results. We find the distance to the Pleiades to be 120.3 ± 1.5 pc, in accordance with previously published work using the same dataset. We find that error correlations cannot be responsible for the still present discrepancy between Hipparcos and photometric methods. Additionally, the three-dimensional space velocity and physical structure of Pleiades is parametrised, where we find strong evidence of mass segregation. The distance to the Hyades is found to be 46.35 ± 0.35 pc, also in accordance with previous results. Through the use of simulations, we confirm that the method is unbiased, so will be useful for accurate open cluster parameter estimation with Gaia at distances up to several thousand parsec.
Key words: methods: statistical / astrometry / open clusters and associations: general
Appendices are available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
© ESO, 2014
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