The galactic center: An interacting system of unusual sources

F. Yusef-Zadeh*, F. Melia, M. Wardle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

The region bounded by the inner tens of light-years at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy contains five principal components that coexist within the central deep well of gravitational potential. These constituents are a black hole candidate (Sgr A*) with a mass equivalent to 2.6 ± 0.2 × 106 solar masses, a surrounding cluster of evolved stars, a complex of young stars, molecular and ionized gas clouds, and a powerful supernova-like remnant. The interaction of these components is responsible for many of the phenomena occurring in this complex and unique portion of the Galaxy. Developing a consistent picture of the primary interactions between the components at the Galactic center will improve our understanding of the nature of galactic nuclei in general, and will provide us with a better-defined set of characteristics of black holes. For example, the accretion of stellar winds by Sgr A* appears to produce far less radiation than indicated by estimates based on models of galactic nuclei.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-91
Number of pages7
JournalScience
Volume287
Issue number5450
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 7 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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