Table of Contents
ISRN Astronomy and Astrophysics
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 632850, 6 pages
Research Article

A New Galactic Wolf-Rayet Star in Centaurus

Astronomy Group, Department of Physics, Universidad de La Serena, Cisternas 1200, La Serena, Chile

Received 6 April 2011; Accepted 16 May 2011

Academic Editor: J. A. L. Aguerri

Copyright Β© 2011 A. Roman-Lopes. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


I communicate the detection of a new Galactic Wolf-Rayet star (WR60a) in Centaurus. The H- and K-band spectra of WR60a show strong carbon near-infrared emission lines, characteristic of Wolf-Rayet stars of the WC5-7 subtype. Adopting mean absolute magnitude MK and mean intrinsic ( 𝐽 - 𝐾 𝑆 ) and ( 𝐻 - 𝐾 𝑆 ) colours, it was found that WR60a suffers a mean visual extinction of 3 . 8 Β± 1 . 3 magnitudes, being located at a probable heliocentric distance of 5 . 2 Β± 0 . 8  Kpc, which for the related Galactic longitude ( l = 3 1 2 ) puts this star probably in the Carina-Sagittarius arm at about 5.9 kpc from the Galactic center. I searched for clusters in the vicinity of WR60a and in principle found no previously known clusters in a search radius region of several tens arcminutes. The detection of a well-isolated WR star induced us to seek for some still unknown cluster, somewhere in the vicinity of WR60a. From inspection of 5.8 μm and 8.0 μm Spitzer/IRAC GLIMPSE images of the region around the new WR star, strong mid-infrared extended emission at about 13.5 arcmin south-west of WR60a was found. The study of the H-KS colour distribution of point sources associated with the extended emission reveals the presence of a new Galactic cluster candidate probably formed by at least 85 stars.