NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013A-0212

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Proposal Information for 2013A-0212


PI: T. Oka, University of Chicago, tozz@uchicago.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 5640 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

CoI: T. R. Geballe, Gemini Observatory
CoI: M. Goto, University of Munich

Title: Morphology and Kinematics of the Galactic Center's Central Molecular Zone and Expanding Molecular Ring

Abstract: We propose to use GNIRS high resolution spectroscopy of H3+ and CO toward selected dust-embedded stars in the Galactic center to (1) constrain the physical conditions in and extent of the warm diffuse gas within the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) of the Galaxy and simultaneously to (2) determine the morphology and kinematics of the Expanding Molecular Ring (EMR) located on the outer edge of the CMZ. Our current data strongly suggest that the warm diffuse gas fills a large fraction of the volume of the CMZ, but those data have wide gaps in longitudinal coverage. Likewise, the current limited data imply that the motion of the EMR is that of simple radial expansion, which is at odds with more complex interpretations based on observations of dense clouds in the Ring. We now have a selection of suitable stars (most of them found using Gemini) to cover the entire longitudinal range of the CMZ/EMR with roughly even longitudinal spacing. This will allow us to probe many well separated sightlines passing through the CMZ and the EMR.


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 >   2013A-0212

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