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Proceedings Paper

NIRSPEC observations of the galactic center
Author(s): Donald Frank Figer; Ian S. McLean; Eric E. Becklin; James R. Graham; James E. Larkin; N. A. Levenson; Harry I. Teplitz
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Paper Abstract

We report NIRSPEC/Keck observations of the Galactic Center obtained in both low and high resolution modes under excellent seeing conditions. The data were obtained as part of the NIRSPEC commissioning program and will be used to determine: 1) the nature of the stars in the central 0.02 pc, 2) the velocities and accelerations of stars around the central black hole, 3) the velocities of ionized gas in the central parsec, 4) the extent of the main sequence population and star formation history in central parsec, 5) the mass magnitude relation and initial mass function in the Arches cluster, 6) the nature of the MIR sources in the central parsec and Quintuplet clusters, 7) the physical parameters of stellar atmosphere/winds of super luminous stars, and 8) the metallicity in the GC as inferred from observations of red supergiants, red giants, and hot stars. We present a sample of these data, including a high resolution slit scan movie of the central parsec, and show how they can be used to vastly improve the current state of the art in the related science topics. Further, we discuss preliminary results concerning the nature of the central cusp stars and the resultant implications for star formation near a supermassive black hole.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 June 2000
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4005, Discoveries and Research Prospects from 8- to 10-Meter-Class Telescopes, (29 June 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.390132
Show Author Affiliations
Donald Frank Figer, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Ian S. McLean, Univ. of California/Los Angeles (United States)
Eric E. Becklin, Univ. of California/Los Angeles (United States)
James R. Graham, Univ. of California/Berkeley (United States)
James E. Larkin, Univ. of California/Los Angeles (United States)
N. A. Levenson, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)
Harry I. Teplitz, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4005:
Discoveries and Research Prospects from 8- to 10-Meter-Class Telescopes
Jacqueline Bergeron, Editor(s)

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