SCYON Abstract

Received on May 29 2003

Peculiar features of the velocity field of OB associations and the spiral structure of the Galaxy

AuthorsA. M. Mel'nik
Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Moscow, Russia
To appear inAstronomy Letters


Some of the peculiar features of the periodic velocity-field structure for OB associations can be explained by using the Roberts-Hausman model, in which the behavior of a system of dense clouds is considered in a perturbed potential. The absence of statistically significant variations in the azimuthal velocity across the Carina arm, probably, results from its sharp increase behind the shock front, which is easily blurred by distance errors. The existence of a shock wave in the spiral arms and, at the same time, the virtually free motion of OB associations in epicycles can be reconciled in the model of particle clouds with a mean free path of 0.2-2 kpc. The velocity field of OB associations exhibits two appreciable nonrandom deviations from an ideal spiral pattern: a 0.5-kpc displacement of the Cygnus- and Carina-arm fragments from one another and a weakening of the Perseus arm in quadrant III. However, the identified fragments of the Carina, Cygnus, and Perseus arms do not belong to any of the known types of spurs.