First proper motions of thin dust filaments at the Galactic center*
I. Physikalisches Institut, Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Str. 77, 50937 Köln, Germany e-mail: email@example.com
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
Accepted: 23 April 2007
Context.L'-band (3.8 μm) images of the Galactic center show a large number of thin filaments in the mini-spiral, located west of the mini-cavity and along the inner edge of the Northern Arm. One possible mechanism that could produce such structures is the interaction of a central wind with the mini-spiral. Additionally, we identify similar features that appear to be associated with stars.
Aims.We present the first proper motion measurements of the thin dust filaments observed in the central parsec around SgrA* and investigate possible mechanisms that could be responsible for the observed motions.
Methods.The observations have been carried out using the NACO adaptive optics system at the ESO VLT. The images have been transformed to a common coordinate system and features of interest were extracted. Then a cross-correlation technique could be performed in order to determine the offsets between the features with respect to their position in the reference epoch.
Results.We derive the proper motions of a number of filaments and 2 cometary shaped dusty sources close (in projection) to SgrA*. We show that the shape and the motion of the filaments does not agree with a purely Keplerian motion of the gas in the potential of the supermassive black hole at the position of SgrA*. Therefore, additional mechanisms must be responsible for their formation and motion. We argue that the properties of the filaments are probably related to an outflow from the disk of young mass-losing stars around SgrA*. In part, the outflow may originate from the black hole itself. We also present some evidence and theoretical considerations that the outflow may be collimated.
Key words: Galaxy: center / infrared: ISM / ISM: jets and outflows / accretion, accretion disks
© ESO, 2007