Volume 540, April 2012
|Number of page(s)||21|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||23 March 2012|
Interstellar gas within ~10 pc of Sagittarius A∗
IRAP, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, 14 avenue Édouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
Received: 3 May 2011
Accepted: 19 January 2012
Aims. We seek to obtain a coherent and realistic three-dimensional picture of the interstellar gas out to about 10 pc of the dynamical center of our Galaxy, which is supposed to be at Sgr A∗.
Methods. We review the existing observational studies on the different gaseous components that have been identified near Sgr A∗, and retain all the information relating to their spatial configuration and/or physical state. Based on the collected information, we propose a three-dimensional representation of the interstellar gas, which describes each component in terms of both its precise location and morphology and its thermodynamic properties.
Results. The interstellar gas near Sgr A∗ can be represented by five basic components, which are, by order of increasing size: (1) a central cavity with roughly equal amounts of warm ionized and atomic gases; (2) a ring of mainly molecular gas; (3) a supernova remnant filled with hot ionized gas; (4) a radio halo of warm ionized gas and relativistic particles; and (5) a belt of massive molecular clouds. While the halo gas fills ≈80% of the studied volume, the molecular components enclose ≈ 98% of the interstellar mass.
Key words: ISM: structure / Galaxy: center / Galaxy: nucleus / ISM: general / ISM: kinematics and dynamics / ISM: supernova remnants
© ESO, 2012
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.