The O star hinterland of the Galactic starburst, NGC 3603
Drew, J. E.
Wright, N. J.
The very bright and compact massive young cluster, NGC 3603, has been cited as an example of a starburst in the Milky Way and compared with the much-studied R136/30 Doradus region in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Here we build on the discovery by Mohr-Smith et al. of a large number of reddened O stars around this cluster. We construct a list of 288 candidate O stars with proper motions (PMs), in a region of sky spanning 1.5 × 1.5 deg 2 centred on NGC 3603, by cross-matching the Mohr-Smith et al. catalogue with Gaia DR2. This provides the basis for a first comprehensive examination of the PMs of these massive stars in the halo of NGC 3603, relative to the much better studied central region. We identify up to 11 likely O star ejections - 8 of which would have been ejected between 0.60 and 0.95 Myr ago (supporting the age of ∼1 Myr that has been attributed to the bright cluster centre). Seven candidate ejections are arranged in a partial ring to the south of the cluster core spanning radii of 9-18 arcmin (18-36 pc if the cluster is 7 kpc away). We also show that the cluster has a halo of a further ∼100 O stars extending to a radius of at least 5 arcmin, adding to the picture of NGC 3603 as a scaled down version of the R136/30 Dor region.