Volume 625, May 2019
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||14 May 2019|
Resolving the distance controversy for Sharpless 269
A possible kink in the outer arm
Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
2 Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC (JIVE), Oude Hoogeveensedijk 4, 7991 PD Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
3 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Accepted: 24 March 2019
Context. Sharpless 269 (S 269) is one of a few HII regions in the outer spiral arm of the Milky Way with strong water maser emission. Based on data from the Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) Exploration of Radio Astrometry (VERA) array, two parallax measurements have been published, which differ by nearly 2σ. Each distance estimate supports a different structure for the outer arm. Moreover, given its large Galactocentric radii, S 269 has special relevance as its proper motion and parallax have been used to constrain the Galactic rotation curve at large radii.
Aims. Using recent Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) observations, we accurately measure the parallax and proper motion of the water masers in S 269. We interpret the position and motion of S 269 in the context of Galactic structure, and possible optical counterparts.
Methods. S 269’s 22 GHz water masers and two close by quasars were observed at 16 epochs between 2015 and 2016 using the VLBA. We calibrated the data by inverse phase referencing using the strongest maser spot. The parallax and proper motion were fitted using the standard protocols of the Bar and Spiral Structure Legacy survey.
Results. We measure an annual parallax for S 269 of 0.241 ± 0.012 mas corresponding to a distance from the Sun of 4.15+0.22−0.20 kpc by fitting four maser spots. The mean proper motion for S 269 was estimated as 0.16 ± 0.26 mas yr−1 and −0.51 ± 0.26 mas yr−1 for μα cosδ and μδ respectively, which corresponds to the motion expected for a flat Galactic rotation curve at large radius. This distance estimate, Galactic kinematic simulations and observations of other massive young stars in the outer region support the existence of a kink in the outer arm at l ≈ 140°. Additionally, we find more than 2000 optical sources in the Gaia DR2 catalog within 125 pc radius around the 3D position of the water maser emission; from those only three sources are likely members of the same stellar association that contains the young massive star responsible for the maser emission (S 269 IRS 2w).
Key words: masers / astrometry / stars: massive / stars: early-type / open clusters and associations: individual: S 269 / Galaxy: structure
© ESO 2019
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