We present a survey of Spitzer Space Telescope/IRAC observations of the central 2 × 1.5 degrees (265 × 200 pc) of the Galaxy at 3-8 μm. These data represent the highest spatial resolution and sensitivity large-scale map made to date of the Galactic Center (GC) at mid-infrared wavelengths. The IRAC data provide a census of the optically obscured stellar sources as well as a detailed map of the highly flamentary structure in the interstellar medium. The diffuse emission is dominated by PAH emission from small grains in star-forming regions. Dark clouds displaying a large variety of sizes and morphologies are imaged, many of which remain opaque at IRAC wavelengths. Using a multiwavelength comparison, we determine which objects are likely to be in the foreground and which are located at the GC. We find no counterparts at IRAC wavelengths to the unique system of linear, nonthermal radio filaments present at the GC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)