Quintuplet cluster

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Quintuplet Cluster
Quintuplet cluster
Quintuplet Cluster (HST/NICMOS image)[1]
Observation data (J2000. epoch)
Constellation Sagittarius
Right ascension 17h 46m 13.9s
Declination −28° 49′ 48″
Distance 25 kly (8.5 kpc)
Physical characteristics
Notable features Dense cluster of massive young stars near the Galactic center. Optically obscured.
Other designations IRAS 17430-2848, G000.16-00.06
See also: Open cluster, List of open clusters

The Quintuplet cluster is a dense cluster of massive young stars near the Galactic Center (GC). Its name comes from the fact it has five prominent infrared sources residing in it.[2] Along with the Arches cluster it is one of two in the immediate GC region. Due to heavy extinction by dust in the vicinity, it is invisible to optical observation and must be studied in the X-ray, radio, and infrared bands.

Although it does not contain quite such luminous or massive stars as the nearby Arches cluster, it does have the distinction of hosting two of the extremely rare luminous blue variables, the Pistol star and the less well-known FMM 362, and a third just a few parsecs away.[3] It also contains a number of red supergiants, all suggesting a slightly more evolved cluster nearly 4 million years old.[4]

A image of the Quintuplet cluster's brightest stars; V4998 Sagittarii,The Pistol star, and qF362.
Prominent stars (in K band infra-red)
Q/GMM LHO[5] qF/FMM[6] Other names Spectral type[5] Magnitude (KS)[5] Luminosity (x solar) Temperature (K)
1 75 243 WR 102da WC9?d 7.9 ~150,000[7] ~45,000[7]
2 42 231 WR 102dc WC9d + OB 6.7 ~150,000[7] ~45,000[7]
3 19 211 WR 102ha WC8/9d + OB 7.2 ~200,000[7] ~50,000[7]
4 84 251 WR 102dd WC9d 7.8 ~150,000[7] ~45,000[7]
5 115 270N V4646 Sgr M2 I 8.6 (var?) 24,000[4] 3,600[4]
6 79 250 WC9d 9.3 ~150,000[7] ~45,000[7]
7 7 192 M6 I 7.6 47,000[4] 3,274[4]
8 67 240 WR 102hb WN9h[4] 9.6 2,600,000[8] 25,100[8]
9 102 258 WR 102db WC9?d 9.2 ~200,000[7] ~45,000[7]
10 71 241 WR 102ea WN9h[4] 8.8 2,500,000[8] 25,100[8]
11 47 235N WR 102f WC8 10.4 ~200,000[7] ~60,000[7]
12 77 278 O6-8 I eq? 9.6 ~1,200,000[4] ~35,000[4]
13 100 257 O6-8 I fe 9.4 ~1.400,000[4] ~35,000[4]
14 146 307A O6-8 I f? 8.7 ~2,500,000[4] ~35,000[4]
15 110 270S O6-8 I f (Of/WN?) 10.6 1,600,000[8] 25,100[8]
134 Pistol Star LBV 7.3[3] 1,600,000[9] 11,800[9]
362 V4650 Sgr LBV 7.1[3] 1,800,000[9] 11,300[9]
99 256 WR 102i WN9h[8] 10.5 1,500,000[8] 31,600[8]
158 320 WR 102d WN9h[8] 10.5 1,200,000[8] 35,100[8]
V4998 Sagittarii LBV 7.5[3] 1,600,000 - 4,000,000[10]  ?

The original five quintuplet members are Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, and Q9,[11][12] although Liermann mistakenly describes the red supergiant LHO 115 (=Q5) as one of the original five.[4] Note that these five objects are all extremely hot carbon-type Wolf-Rayet stars rather than the expected cool objects that would be expected to dominate in the infrared. They are all shrouded in dust and were initially mistaken for protostars, but the dust is now thought to be created in colliding stellar winds between the evolved Wolf-Rayet star and a less evolved hot OB companion.


  1. ^ "Hubble Spies Giant Star Clusters Near Galactic Center". HubbleSite: NewsCenter. September 16, 1999. 
  2. ^ History Television, 'The Universe', "The Search for Cosmic Clusters", season 4, episode 7
  3. ^ a b c d Mauerhan, J. C.; Morris, M. R.; Cotera, A.; Dong, H.; Wang, Q. D.; Stolovy, S. R.; Lang, C.; Glass, I. S. (2010). "Discovery of a Luminous Blue Variable with an Ejection Nebula Near the Quintuplet Cluster". The Astrophysical Journal 713: L33. arXiv:1002.3379. Bibcode:2010ApJ...713L..33M. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/713/1/L33.  edit
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Liermann, A.; Hamann, W. -R.; Oskinova, L. M. (2012). "The Quintuplet cluster". Astronomy & Astrophysics 540: A14. arXiv:1203.2435. Bibcode:2012A&A...540A..14L. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201117534.  edit
  5. ^ a b c Liermann, A.; Hamann, W. -R.; Oskinova, L. M. (2009). "The Quintuplet cluster". Astronomy and Astrophysics 494 (3): 1137. arXiv:0809.5199. Bibcode:2009A&A...494.1137L. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:200810371.  edit
  6. ^ Figer, D. F.; McLean, I. S.; Morris, M. (1999). "Massive Stars in the Quintuplet Cluster". The Astrophysical Journal 514: 202. arXiv:astro-ph/9903281. Bibcode:1999ApJ...514..202F. doi:10.1086/306931.  edit
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Sander, A.; Hamann, W. -R.; Todt, H. (2012). "The Galactic WC stars". Astronomy & Astrophysics 540: A144. arXiv:1201.6354. Bibcode:2012A&A...540A.144S. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201117830.  edit
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Liermann, A.; Hamann, W. -R.; Oskinova, L. M.; Todt, H.; Butler, K. (2010). "The Quintuplet cluster". Astronomy & Astrophysics 524: A82. arXiv:1011.5796. Bibcode:2010A&A...524A..82L. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/200912612.  edit
  9. ^ a b c d Najarro, F.; Figer, D. F.; Hillier, D. J.; Geballe, T. R.; Kudritzki, R. P. (2009). "Metallicity in the Galactic Center: The Quintuplet Cluster". The Astrophysical Journal 691 (2): 1816. arXiv:0809.3185. Bibcode:2009ApJ...691.1816N. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/691/2/1816.  edit
  10. ^ Nazé, Y.; Rauw, G.; Hutsemékers, D. (2012). "The first X-ray survey of Galactic luminous blue variables". Astronomy & Astrophysics 538: A47. arXiv:1111.6375. Bibcode:2012A&A...538A..47N. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201118040.  edit
  11. ^ Okuda, H.; Shibai, H.; Nakagawa, T.; Matsuhara, H.; Kobayashi, Y.; Kaifu, N.; Nagata, T.; Gatley, I.; Geballe, T. R. (1990). "An infrared quintuplet near the Galactic center". The Astrophysical Journal 351: 89. Bibcode:1990ApJ...351...89O. doi:10.1086/168447.  edit
  12. ^ Moneti, A.; Stolovy, S.; Blommaert, J. A. D. L.; Figer, D. F.; Najarro, F. (2001). "Mid-infrared imaging and spectroscopy of the enigmatic cocoon stars in the Quintuplet Cluster". Astronomy and Astrophysics 366: 106. arXiv:astro-ph/0010558. Bibcode:2001A&A...366..106M. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20000192.  edit

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