to IAU
Symposium 241

Abstract details

Structure of the Milky Way and the distribution of young stellar clusters.
M. Messineo, K. Menten, F. Schuller, M. Petr-Gotzens, H. Habing

We present observations with the integral field spectrometer SINFONI on the ESO-VLT (Very Large Telescope) Yepun to observe obscured stellar clusters in HII regions in the infrared H and K bands. The classification in spectral subclasses of early type stars together with the extinction determination and the stellar apparent magnitudes enable us to obtain spectrophotometric distances, which are independent and complementary to kinematic distances and free from the ambiguity inherent in the determination of the latter. Most importantly, our method is much less limited by interstellar extinction than previous optical programmes allowing studies along lines of sight along which optical measurements are impossible. Our primary aim is obtaining a more complete and less biased picture of the Milky Way's spiral structure and improving our understanding of the spatial distribution of Galactic HII regions.

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