The seven sisters DANCe III. Projected spatial distribution

J. Olivares, E. Moraux, L.M. Sarro, H. Bouy, A. Berihuete, D. Barrado, N. Huelamo, E. Bertin, J. Bouvier. 2018. The seven sisters DANCe III. Projected spatial distribution. Astronomy and Astrophysics 612, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201731996

Membership analyses of the DANCe and Tycho + DANCe data sets provide the largest and least contaminated sample of Pleiades candidate members to date.

Aims. We aim at reassessing the different proposals for the number surface density of the Pleiades in the light of the new and most complete list of candidate members, and inferring the parameters of the most adequate model.

Methods. We compute the Bayesian evidence and Bayes Factors for variations of the classical radial models. These include elliptical symmetry, and luminosity segregation. As a by-product of the model comparison, we obtain posterior distributions for each set of model parameters.

Results. We find that the model comparison results depend on the spatial extent of the region used for the analysis. For a circle of 11.5 parsecs around the cluster centre (the most homogeneous and complete region), we find no compelling reason to abandon King’s model, although the Generalised King model introduced here has slightly better fitting properties. Furthermore, we find strong evidence against radially symmetric models when compared to the elliptic extensions. Finally, we find that including mass segregation in the form of luminosity segregation in the J band is strongly supported in all our models.

Conclusions. We have put the question of the projected spatial distribution of the Pleiades cluster on a solid probabilistic framework, and inferred its properties using the most exhaustive and least contaminated list of Pleiades candidate members available to date. Our results suggest however that this sample may still lack about 20% of the expected number of cluster members. Therefore, this study should be revised when the completeness and homogeneity of the data can be extended beyond the 11.5 parsecs limit. Such a study will allow for more precise determination of the Pleiades spatial distribution, its tidal radius, ellipticity, number of objects and total mass.

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