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Unveiling Infrared Excess Sources in the Galactic Center with Adaptive Optics
September 1, 201411:30 am – 12:30 pm (CDT)

Unveiling Infrared Excess Sources in the Galactic Center with Adaptive Optics


Breann Sitarski (University of California, Los Angeles)



Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics & Astronomy

College Station, Texas 77843

Event Details

The very center of our Galaxy plays host to a supermassive black hole, a collection of old and young stars, gas, and dust. Recently, a very red source, G2, has been subject to intense scrutiny as a potential gas cloud that has reached closest approach to the supermassive black hole at the center of our Galaxy. It has been hypothesized to undergo tidal disruption as it approaches Sgr A*, but our knowledge of the nature of G2 remains very limited. With near-infrared imaging and integral field spectroscopy fed through laser guide star adaptive optics systems on the Keck I and II telescopes, we have recently discovered many other infrared excess point sources in the Galactic Center. One particular source, G1, is a short-period object that has recently passed through periapse and survived. Ms. Sitarski will present recent results on whether or not G2 has survived periapse passage and limits that we can place on the nature of the infrared excess point sources based on the kinematics, dynamics, and composition of G1, G2, and other infrared excess sources in the Galactic Center.

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