PI: Thomas R. Geballe, Gemini Observatory - North, firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Gemini Observatory, 670 N. Aohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
CoI: Takeshi Oka, University of Chicago
Title: Additional Probes of the Galactic Center's Interstellar Medium - continuation
Abstract: We request time to continue our search for bright objects with featureless infrared spectra on sightlines to the Galactic center. Such objects are needed in order to more thoroughly study the interstellar environment toward and within the GC. Our previous research has used high resolution spectroscopy of H3+ and CO toward known sources in the central few tens of parsecs of the Galaxy to identify a previously unknown but apparently extensive component of the interstellar environment there, warm and diffuse gas. Evidence to date suggests that this component pervades the central molecular zone (CMZ), which extends 200 pc from the center, but it is necessary to identify additional smooth-spectrum sources further from the center to use as probes to determine its true extent and better characterize the gas. Using Gemini in previous semesters to observe candidate sources identified from 2MASS and GLIMPSE photometry, we have already found several such sources and obtained striking high-resolution spectra. The requested time would allow us to survey 150 more candidate objects, several from our uncompleted 2011 source lists and the remainder newly selected. The program can be done in very poor sky conditions.
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