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Massive stars and the creation of our Galactic Center

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 May 2016

Donald F. Figer*
Affiliation:
Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA and Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, Charles and 34th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

Abstract

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Our Galactic Center hosts over 10% of the known massive stars in the Galaxy. The majority of these stars are located in three particularly massive clusters that formed within the past 5 Myr. While these clusters are extraordinary, their formation repesents about half of the total inferred star-formation rate in the Galactic Center. There is mounting evidence that the clusters are just present-day examples of the hundreds of such similar clusters that must have been created in the past, and whose stars now comprise the bulk of all stars seen in the region. I discuss the massive stellar content in the Galactic Center and present a new analysis that suggests that effects of continuous star-formation in the Galactic Center can be seen in the observed luminosity functions newly-obtained HST-nicmos and Gemini-ao data.

Type
Part 3. Location and Distribution of Massive Stars
Copyright
Copyright © Astronomical Society of the Pacific 2003 

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