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To Be or Not to Be: Alicante-8, a Cluster or Not?

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jats:titleAbstract</jats:title> jats:pRecent surveys have uncovered new young massive clusters that host dozens of red supergiants (RSGs) near the inner Galaxy. However, many of them have still not been fully studied. Using Very Large Telescope/X-shooter near-infrared spectra, we present the first radial velocity analysis for the putative members of the candidate RSG cluster Alicante-8. Our results show a large dispersion of radial velocities among the candidate member stars, indicating that Alicante-8 does not seem to be a real cluster, unlike Alicante-7 and Alicante-10, which are confirmed by the distribution of the radial velocities of their RSG members. Measuring the spectral indices reveals that the assumption that the candidate stars are RSGs was incorrect, leading to the misclassification of Alicante-8 as a candidate RSG cluster. Our results imply that spectral classification based on the widely used CO band at 2.3 jats:italicμ</jats:italic>m alone is not a sufficient criterion, because both red giants and RSGs can attain similar CO equivalent widths, and that spectroscopic radial velocities are needed in order to confirm unambiguously the cluster membership.</jats:p>



5101 Astronomical Sciences, 51 Physical Sciences

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The Astronomical Journal

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American Astronomical Society
American University of Sharjah (AUS) (FRG20-M-S54)
American University of Sharjah (AUS) (OAPCAS-1110-C00059)