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Star formation in the Galactic Center

14 Feb 2012, 19:37 UTC
Star formation in the Galactic Center
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Mapelli et al investigate in situ star formation in the Galactic CenterCategories: Daily paper summariesTags: Galactic center, sgr a*, simulations, star formation, stars, supermassive black holes(Click to read more...)

• Title: In situ formation of SgrA* stars via disk fragmentation: parent cloud properties and thermodynamics
• Authors: M. Mapelli, T. Hayfield, L. Mayer, J. Wadsley
• First Author’s Institution: INAF-Osservatorio astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio
The Galactic Center
The Center of our Galaxy is one of the most extreme dynamical environments we can observe in detail because individual stars can actually be resolved using adaptive optics. Over time, monitoring individual stellar orbits has firmly established the presence of a supermassive black hole of about 4 x 106 M☉ (check outthis video too). Further examination of these fast-moving stars’ properties (via infrared spectroscopy) revealed a surprising detail — many of these stars are young! To appreciate why this is unexpected, you must understand two important details. (1) When we say these stars are young, it means they are main sequence stars younger than 10 Myr or so. This is significant because it indicates that these stars must have formed near their current location in similar conditions to what we observe today ...

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