Galactic spiral structure revealed by Gaia EDR3
Using the astrometry and integrated photometry from the Gaia Early Data Release 3, we map the density variations in the distribution of young upper main sequence (UMS) stars, open clusters, and classical Cepheids in the Galactic disc within several kiloparsecs of the Sun. We derive maps of relative over- and under-dense regions for UMS stars in the Galactic disc using both bivariate kernel density estimators and wavelet transformations. The resulting overdensity maps exhibit large-scale arches that extend in a clumpy but coherent way over the entire sampled volume, indicating the location of the spiral arm segments in the vicinity of the Sun. Peaks in the UMS overdensity are well matched by the distribution of young and intrinsically bright open clusters. By applying a wavelet transformation to a sample of classical Cepheids, we find that their overdensities possibly extend the spiral arm segments on a larger scale (≃10 kpc from the Sun). While the resulting map based on the UMS sample is generally consistent with previous models of the Sagittarius-Carina spiral arm, the geometry of the arms in the III quadrant (galactic longitudes 180° < l < 270°) differs significantly from that suggested by many previous models. In particular, we find that our maps favour a larger pitch angle for the Perseus arm, and that the Local Arm extends into the III quadrant at least 4 kpc past the position of the Sun, giving it a total length of at least 8 kpc.
The overdensity maps produced in this work are publicly available at https://github.com/epoggio/Spiral_arms_EDR3.git. The list of cluster parameters is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://184.108.40.206) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/651/A104
Publication :Astronomy & Astrophysics, Volume 651, id.A104, 10 pp.
DOI : 10.1051/0004-6361/202140687
Bibcode : 2021A&A...651A.104P
Keywords : Galaxy: disk; Galaxy: structure; Galaxy: stellar content; Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies