The origin of the Galactic center nonthermal radio filaments: Young stellar clusters

F. Yusef-Zadeh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The unusual class of magnetized nonthermal radio filaments, threads, and streaks, with their unique physical characteristics, is found only within the inner couple of degrees of the Galactic center. Also, a number of young, mass-losing, and rare stellar clusters are recognized as lying in the Galactic center region. The latter characteristic of the Galactic center region is used to explain the origin of the nonthermal radio filaments. We consider a mechanism in which the collective winds of massive W-R and OB stars within a dense stellar environment produce shock waves that can accelerate particles to relativistic energies. This mechanism is an extension of a model originally proposed in 1996 by Rosner & Bodo, who suggested that energetic nonthermal particles are produced in a terminal shock of mass-losing stars. The large-scale distribution of the magnetic field in the context of this model is argued to be neither poloidal in geometry nor pervasive throughout the Galactic center region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-333
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - Nov 20 2003


  • ISM: clouds
  • ISM: general
  • Radio continuum: ISM
  • Shock waves
  • Supernova remnants
  • X-rays: ISM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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