THE DISTANCE TO THE MASSIVE GALACTIC CLUSTER WESTERLUND 2 FROM A SPECTROSCOPIC ANDHSTPHOTOMETRIC STUDY,,

Carlos A. Vargas Álvarez, Henry A. Kobulnicky, David R. Bradley, Sheila J. Kannappan, Mark A. Norris, Richard J. Cool, Brendan P. Miller
2013 Astronomical Journal  
We present a spectroscopic and photometric determination of the distance to the young Galactic open cluster Westerlund 2 using WFPC2 imaging from the Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based optical spectroscopy. HST imaging in the F336W, F439W, F555W, and F814W filters resolved many sources previously undetected in ground-based observations and yielded photometry for 1136 stars. We identified fifteen new O-type stars, along with two probable binary systems, including MSP 188 (O3 + O5.5). We fit
more » ... (O3 + O5.5). We fit reddened SEDs based on the Padova isochrones to the photometric data to determine individual reddening parameters $R_{V}$ and $A_{V}$ for O-type stars in Wd2. We find average values $\langle R_{V} \rangle = 3.77 \pm 0.09$ and $\langle A_{V} \rangle = 6.51 \pm 0.38$ mag, which result in a smaller distance than most other spectroscopic and photometric studies. After a statistical distance correction accounting for close unresolved binaries (factor of 1.08), our spectroscopic and photometric data on 29 O-type stars yield that Westerlund 2 has a distance $\langle d \rangle = 4.16 \pm 0.07$ (random) $+0.26$ (systematic) kpc. The cluster's age remains poorly constrained, with an upper limit of 3 Myr. Finally, we report evidence of a faint mid-IR PAH ring surrounding the well-known binary candidate MSP~18, which appears to lie at the center of a secondary stellar grouping within Westerlund 2.
doi:10.1088/0004-6256/145/5/125 fatcat:zbvfeako4zcevlrxbw7vtx6vbe