NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0237

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Proposal Information for 2009A-0237


PI: Angela Cotera, SETI Institute, acotera@seti.org
Address: Carl Sagan Center, 10933 W. Bermuda Dr., Avondale, AZ 85392, USA

CoI: Susan Stolovy, Spitzer Science Center
CoI: Jon Mauerhan, IPAC
CoI: Hui Dong, University of Massachusetts
CoI: Daniel Wang, University of Massachusetts

Title: Massive Stars in the Galactic Center: NIR Spectroscopy of newly discovered emission line stars

Abstract: The presence of young massive stars in the inner parsecs of the Galaxy has lead to one of the unsolved problems in Galactic Center (GC) research: how are stars formed in an environment that currently appears to be hostile to stellar birth? Understanding the relationship of these young stars to the dense molecular gas throughout the region is one of the keys to addressing the problem of star formation in galactic nuclei. To study this (and other) problems in GC research, we have obtained a large \pa (1.87 \micron) map of inner ~ 75 pc \times 30 pc of the Galaxy using the Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS camera. Our preliminary analysis of that map has enabled us to more than double the number of massive star candidates located outside of the known, well studied, GC clusters. We are requesting time to obtain NIR spectra of our candidate emission line stars to confirm they are young massive stars, and to obtain an accurate spectral classification. Identification and classification of these stars is a key element in understanding the interaction of stars and the ionized gas and dust in the Galactic center.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0237

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