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Post Info TOPIC: The Hercules-Aquila Cloud


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The Hercules-Aquila Cloud

Title: The Hercules-Aquila Cloud
Authors: V. Belokurov (1), N.W. Evans (1), E.F. Bell (2), M.J. Irwin (1), P.C. Hewett (1), S. Koposov (2), C.M. Rockosi (3), G. Gilmore (1), D. B. Zucker (1), M. Fellhauer (1), M.I. Wilkinson (1), D.M. Bramich (1), S. Vidrih (1), H.-W. Rix (2), T.C. Beers (4), D.P. Schneider (5), J.C. Barentine (6), H. Brewington (6), J. Brinkmann (6), M. Harvanek (6), J. Krzesinski (6), D. Long (6), K. Pan (6), S.A. Snedden (6), O. Malanushenko (6), V. Malanushenko (6) ((1) Cambridge, (2) MPIA, (3) Lick, (4) MSU, (5) Penn State, (6) APO)

We present evidence for a substantial overdensity of stars in the direction of the constellations of Hercules and Aquila. The Cloud is centred at a Galactic longitude of about 40 degrees and extends above and below the Galactic plane by at least 50 degrees. Given its off-centeredness and height, it is unlikely that the Hercules-Aquila Cloud is related to the bulge or thick disk. More likely, this is a new structural component of the Galaxy that passes through the disk. The Cloud stretches about 80 degrees in longitude. Its heliocentric distance lies between 10 and 20 kpc so that the extent of the Cloud in projection is roughly 20 kpc by 15 kpc. It has an absolute magnitude of -13 and its stellar population appears to be comparable to, but somewhat more metal-rich than, M92.

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