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Astron. Astrophys. 341, 427-436 (1999)

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Detection of moving groups among early type stars

R. Asiain, F. Figueras, J. Torra and B. Chen

Departament d'Astronomia i Meteorologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Avda. Diagonal 647, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain

Received 14 August 1998 / Accepted 6 October 1998


Our procedure to detect moving groups in the solar neighbourhood (Chen et al., 1997) in the four-dimensional space of the stellar velocity components and age has been improved. The method, which takes advantadge of non-parametric estimators of density distribution to avoid any a priori knowledge of the kinematic properties of these stellar groups, now includes the effect of observational errors on the process to select moving group stars, uses a better estimation of the density distribution of the total sample and field stars, and classifies moving group stars using all the available information.

It is applied here to an accurately selected sample of early-type stars with known radial velocities and Strömgren photometry. Astrometric data are taken from the HIPPARCOS catalogue (ESA, 1997), which results in an important decrease in the observational errors with respect to ground-based data, and ensures the uniformity of the observed data. Both the improvement of our method and the use of precise astrometric data have allowed us not only to confirm the existence of classical moving groups, but also to detect finer structures that in several cases can be related to kinematic properties of nearby open clusters or associations.

Key words: stars: early-type – stars: fundamental parameters – stars: Hertzsprung – Russel (HR) and C-M diagrams – stars: kinematics galaxy: solar neighbourhood

Send offprint requests to: R. Asiain (rasiain@mizar.am.ub.es

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: December 4, 1998