Scientists explore open cluster NGC 2506 using AstroSat

(ORDO NEWS) — Using the AstroSat spacecraft, Indian astronomers studied the open cluster NGC 2506. The study identified more than 2,000 stars in this cluster and provided more information about its properties.

The results were published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Open clusters (OCs) are a group of stars formed from a single giant molecular cloud. So far, more than 1,000 such clusters have been discovered in the Milky Way, and scientists are still searching for more, hoping to find even more of these star clusters.

NGC 2506, also known as Caldwell 54, lies about 12,700 light-years away. Although many studies have been carried out on this cluster, little is known about its stellar composition so far.

Previous observations have shown that NGC 2506 exhibits mass segregation, with lower-mass stars most likely in the cluster’s outer parts.

To shed more light on NGC 2506’s stellar populations, a team of astronomers led by Anju Panty of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani, India, made multi-wavelength observations of the cluster, mostly with the ultraviolet telescope (UVIT) aboard AstroSat.

“We studied the middle-aged open cluster NGC 2506 using AstroSat/UVIT data and other archival data,” the researchers write.

In total, 2175 members of the NGC 2506 cluster were identified during the study. Among them, nine blue stragglers (BSS), three yellow straggling stars (YSS) and three stars in the red clump stage (RC) were found.

In addition, astronomers have discovered the hot companions of three BSS, two YSS and three RC stars and evaluated their fundamental properties.

They found that these objects are white dwarfs with masses between 0.2 and 0.8 solar masses and effective temperatures between 13,250 and 31,000 K.

As for the effective temperatures of the BSS stars in NGC 2506, the results show that they range from 7750 up to 9750 K.

The temperatures of YSS stars are in the range from 6500 to 6750 K, and the temperatures of RC stars are 5000-5250 K. The age of the cluster was estimated at 2 billion years.

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