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Origin of the excitation of the galactic center
Rieke, G. H.; Rieke, M. J.; Paul, A. E.
AA(Steward Observatory, Tucson, AZ), AB(Steward Observatory, Tucson, AZ), AC(Arizona, University, Tucson, AZ)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 336, Jan. 15, 1989, p. 752-761. Research supported by NSF. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Astronomical Spectroscopy, Galactic Nuclei, Infrared Sources (Astronomy), Milky Way Galaxy, Charge Coupled Devices, Interstellar Extinction, Luminosity, Radio Sources (Astronomy), Star Clusters
Bibliographic Code:


Near-infrared imaging and spectroscopy of the infrared cluster in the central parsec of the galaxy have been obtained. Very-high resolution images of IRS 16 allow an upper limit of 10 percent to be placed to the contribution to the energetics in this region by Sgr A-asterisk. However, the very blue colors of at least five components of IRS 16 suggest that they together could power the region. A deep image at 1.25 micron detects at least three of the sources bright at 10 micron, demonstrating that these objects contain self-luminous cores. Constraints on the temperatures of these cores are placed with infrared spectroscopy, and they appear to be too hot and bright in the near-infrared to be single stars. These cores may also contribute significantly to the overall luminosity of the central parsec.

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