Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Sculpting the central parsec of our Galaxy

  • Xian Chen (a1)

Abstract

Recent observations have revealed various structures within the gravitational influence of Sgr A* – the massive black hole in the Galactic center. These structures apparently defy the fundamental principles of star formation and stellar dynamics. On one hand, the red giants display a flat density profile, contrary to the cuspy one predicted by conventional stellar relaxation. On the other, Wolf-Rayet and OB stars are observed where in-situ star formation should have been prohibited by the strong tidal force from Sgr A*, and their spatial and phase-space distributions also contradict our understanding of stellar dynamics. To explain each of these inconsistencies, many scenarios have been proposed, which render the model increasingly complicated. Here, we suggest that the sub-parsec stellar disk surrounding Sgr A*, which was recently discovered, can reconcile all the above inconsistencies. We show that during the fragmenting past of this disk, the star-forming clumps could efficiently deplete red giants by repeatedly colliding with them. We also show that because of the torque exerted by the disk, stars within the central arcsec from Sgr A* would quickly mix in the angular-momentum space, which naturally explains the observed distributions of Wolf-Rayet and OB stars. Our results imply that Sgr A* was fueled by gas and stars several millions years ago and could have been an energetic AGN. We discuss future observations that can further testify our model.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Sculpting the central parsec of our Galaxy
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Sculpting the central parsec of our Galaxy
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Sculpting the central parsec of our Galaxy
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All
Amaro-Seoane, P. & Chen, X. 2014, ApJ, 781, L18
Chen, X. & Amaro-Seoane, P. 2014, ApJ, 786, L14
Genzel, R., Eisenhauer, F., & Gillessen, S. 2010, RvMP, 82, 3121
MathJax
MathJax is a JavaScript display engine for mathematics. For more information see http://www.mathjax.org.

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed