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A New Globular Cluster in the Area of VVVX

  • E. Bica (a1), D. Minniti (a2) (a3) (a4), C. Bonatto (a1) and M. Hempel (a5)

We communicate the discovery of a new globular cluster in the Galaxy that was first detected on WISE/2MASS images and is now confirmed with VVVX photometry. It is a Palomar-like cluster projected at ℓ = 359.15°, b = 5.73°, and may be related to the bulge. We derive an absolute magnitude of MV ≈ −3.3, thus being an underluminous globular cluster. Our analyses provide a reddening of E(BV) = 1.08 ± 0.18 and a distance to the Sun d = 6.3 ± 1 kpc, which implies a current position in the bulge volume. The estimated metallicity is [Fe/H] = −1.5 ± 0.25. It adds to the recently discovered faint globular cluster (Minniti 22) and candidates found with VVV, building up expectations of ≈50 globular clusters yet to be discovered in the bulge. We also communicate the discovery of an old open cluster in the same VVVX tile as the globular cluster. The VVVX photometry provided E(BV) = 0.62 ± 0.1, d = 7.6 ± 1 kpc, and an age of 1.5 ± 0.3 Gyr. With a height from the plane of ≈0.8 kpc, it adds to nine Gyr-class clusters recently discovered within 0.8 ⩽ Z ⩽ 2.2 kpc, as recently probed in the single VVV tile b201. We suggest that these findings may be disclosing the thick disk at the bulge, which so far has no open cluster counterpart, and hardly any individual star. Thus, the VVV and VVVX surveys are opening new windows for follow-up studies, to employ present and future generations of large aperture telescopes.

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