Letter to the Editor
A comparison of the local spiral structure from Gaia DR2 and VLBI maser parallaxes⋆
Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing 210008, PR China
2 Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, PR China
3 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
4 Shanghai Observatory, Shanghai 200030, PR China
5 Max-Planck-Institut f ü r Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
Accepted: 24 June 2018
Context. The Gaia mission has released the second data set (Gaia DR2), which contains parallaxes and proper motions for a large number of massive, young stars.
Aims. We investigate the spiral structure in the solar neighborhood revealed by Gaia DR2 and compare it with that depicted by VLBI maser parallaxes.
Methods. We examined three samples with different constraints on parallax uncertainty and distance errors and stellar spectral types: (1) all OB stars with parallax errors of less than 10%; (2) only O-type stars with 0.1 mas errors imposed and with parallax distance errors of less than 0.2 kpc; and (3) only O-type stars with 0.05 mas errors imposed and with parallax distance errors of less than 0.3 kpc.
Results. In spite of the significant distance uncertainties for stars in DR2 beyond 1.4 kpc, the spiral structure in the solar neighborhood demonstrated by Gaia agrees well with that illustrated by VLBI maser results. The O-type stars available from DR2 extend the spiral arm models determined from VLBI maser parallaxes into the fourth Galactic quadrant, and suggest the existence of a new spur between the Local and Sagittarius arms.
Key words: Galaxy: structure / stars: early-type / stars: massive / masers
The full Table 1 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (188.8.131.52) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/616/L15
© ESO 2018
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.