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Neutral gas in the central 2 parsecs of the Galaxy
Jackson, J. M.; Geis, N.; Genzel, R.; Harris, A. I.; Madden, S.; Poglitsch, A.; Stacey, G. J.; Townes, C. H.
AA(Boston University, MA), AB(Max-Planck-Inst. für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching bei München, Germany), AC(Max-Planck-Inst. für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching bei München, Germany), AD(Max-Planck-Inst. für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching bei München, Germany), AE(Max-Planck-Inst. für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching bei München, Germany), AF(Max-Planck-Inst. für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching bei München, Germany), AG(California Univ., Berkeley), AH(California Univ., Berkeley)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 402, no. 1, p. 173-184. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Galactic Nuclei, Infrared Astronomy, Interstellar Gas, Neutral Gases, Gas Dynamics, Mass Flow Rate, Molecular Clouds, Spatial Distribution
Bibliographic Code:


New spectroscopic observations are presented that elucidate the spatial distribution, kinematics, and density structure of atomic and molecular gas within about 2 p from IRS 16/SgrA*. The measurements confirm the presence of a dense clumpy molecular gas ring surrounding a short-lived central cavity of much lower mean gas density. It appears that this ring consists of several distinct and probably short-lived gas streamers that result from accretion from the massive molecular clouds within 10-30 pc of the center toward the central gravitational potential. Within 1 pc of SgrA* a large atomic cloud is found that appears to be falling in from more than 3 pc Galactocentric distance into the central cavity. The northern and eastern 'arms' of ionized gas are very likely dense bright rims at the surface of this atomic cloud that is now exposed to the intense UV radiation from the few central arcsec surrounding IRS 16/SgrA*.

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