The Enigma of the Open Cluster M29 (NGC 6913) Solved

Straižys, V.; Milašius, K.; Boyle, R. P.; Vrba, F. J.; Munari, U.; Walborn, N. R.; Černis, K.; Kazlauskas, A.; Zdanavičius, K.; Janusz, R.; Zdanavičius, J.; Laugalys, V.
The Astronomical Journal, Volume 148, Issue 5, article id. 89, 9 pp. (2014).


Determining the distance to the open cluster M29 (NGC 6913) has proven difficult, with distances determined by various authors differing by a factor of two or more. To solve this problem, we have initiated a new photometric investigation of the cluster in the Vilnius seven-color photometric system, supplementing it with available data in the BV and JHK photometric systems and spectra of the nine brightest stars of spectral classes O and B. Photometric spectral classes and luminosities of 260 stars in a 15' × 15' area down to V = 19 mag are used to investigate the interstellar extinction run with distance and to estimate the distance of the Great Cygnus Rift, ~ 800 pc. The interstellar reddening law in the optical and near-infrared regions is found to be close to normal, with the ratio of extinction to color excess RBV = 2.87. The extinction AV of cluster members is between 2.5 and 3.8 mag, with a mean value of 2.97 mag, or E B – V = 1.03. The average distance of eight stars of spectral types O9-B2 is 1.54 ± 0.15 kpc. Two stars from the seven brightest stars are field stars: HDE 229238 is a background B0.5 supergiant and HD 194378 is a foreground F star. In the intrinsic color-magnitude diagram, seven fainter stars of spectral classes B3-B8 are identified as possible members of the cluster. The 15 selected members of the cluster of spectral classes O9-B8 plotted on the log L/L  versus log T eff diagram, together with the isochrones from the Padova database, give the age of the cluster as 5 ± 1 Myr.