EDP Sciences
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Volume 377, Number 3, October III 2001
Page(s) 1016 - 1022
Section Diffuse matter in space
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20011082

A&A 377, 1016-1022 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20011082

The stability of the Circumnuclear Disk clouds in the Galactic Centre

B. Vollmer1, 2 and W. J. Duschl2, 1

1  Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
2  Institut für Theoretische Astrophysik der Universität Heidelberg, Tiergartenstraße 15, 69121 Heidelberg, Germany

(Received 16 February 2001 / Accepted 23 July 2001 )

The influence of rotation and magnetic fields on the physical properties of isothermal gas clouds is discussed. The presence of rotation and/or magnetic fields results in an increase of the critical cloud mass with respect to gravitational instability for clouds of a given temperature and external pressure. Rotating clouds have higher densities. Consequently, they are more stable against tidal shear than non-rotating clouds. They can approach the Galactic Centre up to a radius of ~2 pc without being disrupted by the tidal shear due to the gravitational potential. For smaller radii the clouds either collapse or become tidally disrupted. We suggest that this mechanism is responsible for the formation of the inner edge of the Circumnuclear Disk in the Galactic Centre.

Key words: ISM: clouds -- ISM: evolution -- Galaxy: center

Offprint request: B. Vollmer, bvollmer@mpifr-bonn.mpg.de

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