NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0128

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Program Information for 2016A-0128


PI: Takeshi Oka, U. of Chicago, tozz@uchicago.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 5640 AVENUE, CHICAGO, IL 60637 USA

CoI: Thomas R Geballe, Gemini Observatory
CoI: Miwa Goto, Max Planck Institut fuer extraterrestrische Physik
CoI: Nick Indriolo, U. of Michigan

Title: Probing the Galactic Center's Molecular Gas using H3+ and CO

Abstract: Our high resolution spectra of H3+ and CO in the Galactic center from 2003 to 2010 using Phoenix at Gemini South have radically changed the previous concept of the gas in the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) of the Galactic center. Those spectra used known bright stars with smooth continua located from Sgr A* to 30 pc east to identify previously unsuspected long column lengths of warm outward flowing diffuse gas within the CMZ. In 2008, we began to seek new stars which could be used to expand the region of observation to 300 pc, which bore fruit immediately (Geballe and Oka 2010). Unfortunately the project was disrupted by removal of Phoenix in 2011. We are absolutely excited about the return of Phoenix, which enables us to complete our project utilizing many new dust-embedded stars found to be suitable for spectroscopy during the time Phoenix was unavailable. We propose to observe H3+ and CO toward 16 of these stars extending across much of the CMZ and filling gaps in our previous observations. The new observations will give a full picture of the extent of the warm and diffuse gas, the remarkably high ionization rate there, and a complete morphology of the rapidly expanding (~ 140 km s-1) gas.

Program Type: Standard/Galactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2016A):  GEM-S-SVC/PHNX -- 42.6hrs band 3 (GS-2016A-Q-78)


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 >   2016A-0128

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