Cosmic-ray-driven outflow from the Galactic Centre and the origin of magnetized radio filaments

F. Yusef-Zadeh, M. Wardle

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Radio, X-ray, and infrared observations of the inner few hundred parsecs of the Galactic Centre have highlighted two characteristics of the interstellar medium. The cosmic-ray ionization rate derived from molecular ions such as H+3 is at least two to three orders of magnitude higher than in the Galactic disc. The other is bipolar X-ray and radio emission away from the Galactic plane. These features are consistent with a scenario in which high cosmic-ray pressure drives large-scale winds away from the Galactic plane. The interaction of such a wind with stellar wind bubbles may explain the energetic non-thermal radio filaments found throughout the Galactic Centre. Some of the implications of this scenario is the removal of gas driven by outflowing winds, acting as a feedback to reduce the star formation rate in the central molecular zone (CMZ), and the distortion of azimuthal magnetic field lines in the CMZ to vertical direction away from the plane. The combined effects of the wind and the vertical magnetic field can explain why most magnetized filaments run perpendicular to the galactic plane. This proposed picture suggests our Milky Way nucleus has recently experienced starburst or black hole activity, as recent radio and X-ray observations indicate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L1-L5
Number of pages5
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, Volume 490, Issue 1, November 2019, Pages L1–L5, Copyright 2019 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


  • accretion
  • accretion discs
  • black hole physics
  • Galaxy: Centre


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