Vol 24, No 5

BSEC Method for Unveiling Open Clusters and its Application to Gaia DR3: 83 New Clusters

Zhong-Mu Li and Cai-Yan Mao


Open clusters (OCs) are common in the Milky Way, but most of them remain undiscovered. There are numerous techniques, including some machine-learning algorithms, available for the exploration of OCs. However, each method has its limitations and therefore, different approaches to discovering OCs hold significant values. We develop a comprehensive approach method to automatically explore the data space and identify potential OC candidates with relatively reliable membership determination. This approach combines the techniques of Hierarchical Density-Based Spatial Clustering of Applications with Noise, Gaussian mixture model, and a novel cluster member identification technique, color excess constraint. The new method exhibits efficiency in detecting OCs while ensuring precise determination of cluster memberships. Because the main feature of this technique is to add an extra constraint (EC) for the members of cluster candidates using the homogeneity of color excess, compared to typical blind search codes, it is called Blind Search-Extra Constraint (BSEC) method. It is successfully applied to the Gaia Data Release 3, and 83 new OCs are found, whose color–magnitude diagrams (CMDs) are fitted well to the isochrones. In addition, this study reports 621 new OC candidates with discernible main sequence or red giant branch. It is shown that BSEC technique can discard some false negatives of previous works, which takes about three percentage of known clusters. It shows that as an EC, the color excess (or two-color) constraint is useful for removing fake cluster member stars from the clusters that are identified from the positions and proper motions of stars, and getting more precise CMDs, when differential reddening of member stars of a cluster is not large (e.g., ΔE(GBP − GRP) < 0.5 mag). It makes the CMDs of 15% clusters clearer (in particular for the region near turnoff) and therefore is helpful for CMD and stellar population studies. Our result suggests that the color excess constraint is more appropriate for clusters with small differential reddening, such as globular clusters or older OCs, and clusters that the distances of member stars cannot be determined accurately.


Key words: Galaxy: stellar content – (Galaxy:) open clusters and associations: general – stars: fundamental parameters

Full Text

There are currently no refbacks.