The ρ Ophiuchi region revisited with Gaia EDR3

Natalie Grasser, Sebastian Ratzenböck, João Alves, Josefa Großschedl, Stefan Meingast, Catherine Zucker, Charles Lada, Alyssa Goodman, Marco Lombardi, John C. Forbes, Immanuel M. Bomze, Torsten Möller, Alvaro Hacar Gonzalez

Context. Young and embedded stellar populations are important probes of the star formation process. Their properties and the environments they create have the potential to affect the formation of new planets. Paradoxically, we have a better census of nearby embedded young populations than of the slightly more evolved optically visible young populations. The high accuracy measurements and all-sky coverage of Gaia data are about to change this situation.
Aims: This work aims to construct the most complete sample to date of young stellar objects (YSOs) in the ρ Oph region.
Methods: We compile a catalog of 1114 Ophiuchus YSOs from the literature and cross-match it with the Gaia EDR3, Gaia-ESO, and APOGEE-2 surveys. We apply a multivariate classification algorithm to this catalog to identify new, co-moving population candidates.
Results: We find 191 new high-fidelity YSO candidates in the Gaia EDR3 catalog belonging to the ρ Oph region. The new sources appear to be mainly Class III M stars and substellar objects and are less extincted than the known members, while we find that 28 of the previously unknown sources are YSOs with circumstellar disks (Class I or Class II). The analysis of the proper motion distribution of the entire sample reveals a well-defined bimodality, implying two distinct populations sharing a similar 3D volume. The first population comprises young stars' clusters around the ρ Ophiuchi star and the main Ophiuchus clouds (L1688, L1689, L1709). In contrast, the second population is slightly older (∼10 Myr), more dispersed, has a distinct proper motion, and is possibly from the Upper Sco group. The two populations are moving away from each other at about 4.1 km s−1 and will no longer overlap in about 4 Myr. Finally, we flag 17 sources in the literature sample as likely impostors, which are sources that exhibit large deviations from the average properties of the ρ Oph population. Our results show the importance of accurate 3D space and motion information for improved stellar population analysis.

Interactive 3D version of Figures 6 and 7 are available online at
The final catalog is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to ( or via

Department of Astrophysics, Research Network Data Science, Department of Statistics and Operations Research, Research Group Visualization and Data Analysis
External organisation(s)
Harvard University, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Universitá degli Studi di Milano, Simons Foundation
Astronomy & Astrophysics
No. of pages
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
103003 Astronomy, 103004 Astrophysics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Astronomy and Astrophysics, Space and Planetary Science
Portal url