New Galactic star clusters discovered in the disc area of the VVVX survey
Ramírez Alegría, S.
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The 'VISTA Variables in the Vía Láctea eXtended (VVVX)' ESO Public Survey is a nearinfrared photometric sky survey that covers nearly 1700 deg2 towards the Galactic disc and bulge. It is well-suited to search for newopen clusters, hidden behind dust and gas. The pipeline processed and calibrated KS-band tile images of 40 per cent of the disc area covered by VVVX was visually inspected for stellar overdensities. Then, we identified cluster candidates by examination of the composite JHKS colour images. The colour-magnitude diagrams of the cluster candidates are constructed. Whenever possible the Gaia DR2 parameters are used to calculate the mean proper motions, radial velocities, reddening and distances. We report the discovery of 120 new infrared clusters and stellar groups. Approximately half of them (47 per cent) are faint, compact, highly reddened, and they seem to be associated with other indicators of recent star formation, such as nearby Young Stellar Objects, Masers, HII regions or bubbles. The preliminary distance determinations allow us to trace the clusters up to 4.5 kpc, but most of the cluster candidates are centred at 2.2 kpc. The mean proper motions of the clusters show that in general they follow the disc motion of the Galaxy. © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.