Unveiling hidden stellar aggregates in the Milky Way: 1656 new star clusters found in Gaia EDR3

Zhihong He, Xiaochen Liu, Yangping Luo, Kun Wang, Qingquan Jiang

Submitted on 18 September 2022


We report 1,656 new star clusters found in the Galactic disk (|b|<20 degrees) beyond 1.2 kpc, using Gaia EDR3 data. Based on an unsupervised machine learning algorithm, DBSCAN, and followed our previous studies, we utilized a unique method to do the data preparation and obtained the clustering coefficients, which proved to be an effective way to search blindly for star clusters. We tabulated the physical parameters and member stars of the new clusters, and presented some interesting examples, including a globular cluster candidate. The cluster parameters and member stars are available at CDS via anonymous ftp to We examined the new discoveries and discussed their statistical properties. The proper motion dispersions and radii of the new clusters were the same as the previously reported ones. The new star clusters beyond 1.2 kpc were older than those in the solar neighborhood, and the new objects found in the third Galactic quadrant presented the lowest line-of-sight extinctions. Combined with our previous results, the total population of new clusters detected through our method was 2,541, corresponding to 55% of all newly published clusters in the Gaia era. The number of cataloged Gaia star clusters was also increased to nearly six thousand. In the near future, it is necessary to make a unified confirmation and member star determination for all reported clusters.


Comment: 16 pages, 11 figures, 2 tables with full clusters/members data link in CDS

Subjects: Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies; Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics