The hercules-aquila cloud

V. Belokurov*, N. W. Evans, E. F. Bell, M. J. Irwin, P. C. Hewett, S. Koposov, C. M. Rockosi, G. Gilmore, D. B. Zucker, M. Fellhauer, M. I. Wilkinson, D. M. Bramich, S. Vidrih, H. W. Rix, T. C. Beers, D. P. Schneider, J. C. Barentine, H. Brewington, J. Brinkmann, M. HarvanekJ. Krzesinski, D. Long, K. Pan, S. A. Snedden, O. Malanushenko, V. Malanushenko

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)


We present evidence for a substantial overdensity of stars in the direction of the constellations of Hercules and Aquila. The cloud is centered at a Galactic longitude of l ≈ 40° and extends above and below the Galactic plane by at least 50°. Given its off-centeredness and height, it is unlikely that the Hercules-Aquila cloud is related to the bulge or thick disk. More likely, this is a new structural component of the Galaxy that passes through the disk. The cloud stretches ∼80° in longitude. Its heliocentric distance lies between 10 and 20 kpc so that the extent of the cloud in projection is ∼20 kpc by ∼15 kpc. It has an absolute magnitude of Mv = -13, and its stellar population appears to be comparable to, but somewhat more metal-rich than, M92.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L89-L92
Number of pages4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


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