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Star Formation in the Central Molecular Zone of the Milky Way

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 April 2011

Sungsoo S. Kim
Affiliation:
Dept. of Astronomt & Space Science, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Kyungki 446-701, Korea Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY 14623, USA
Takayuki R. Saitoh
Affiliation:
Division of Theoretical Astronomy, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588, Japan
Myoungwon Jeon
Affiliation:
Dept. of Astronomt & Space Science, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Kyungki 446-701, Korea Dept. of Astronomy, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712, USA
David Merritt
Affiliation:
Centre for Computational Relativity and Gravitation, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY 14623, USA
Donald F. Figer
Affiliation:
Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY 14623, USA
Keiichi Wada
Affiliation:
Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Kagoshima University, Kagoshima 890-8580, Japan
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Abstract

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Gas materials in the inner Galactic disk continuously migrate toward the Galactic center (GC) due to interactions with the bar potential, magnetic fields, stars, and other gaseous materials. Those in forms of molecules appear to accumulate around 200 pc from the center (the central molecular zone, CMZ) to form stars there and further inside. The bar potential in the GC is thought to be responsible for such accumulation of molecules and subsequent star formation, which is believed to have been continuous throughout the lifetime of the Galaxy. We present 3-D hydrodynamic simulations of the CMZ that consider self-gravity, radiative cooling, and supernova feedback, and discuss the efficiency and role of the star formation in that region. We find that the gas accumulated in the CMZ by a bar potential of the inner bulge effectively turns into stars, supporting the idea that the stellar cusp inside the central 200 pc is a result of the sustained star formation in the CMZ. The obtained star formation rate in the CMZ, 0.03–0.1 M, is consistent with the recent estimate based on the mid-infrared observations by Yusef-Zadeh et al. (2009).

Type
Contributed Papers
Copyright
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2011

References

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