Radio continuum observations of the galactic center: photoevaporative proplyd-like objects near Sgr A*

F. Yusef-Zadeh, D. A. Roberts, M. Wardle, W. Cotton, R. Schödel, M. J. Royster

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    27 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We present radio images within 30″ of Sgr A∗ based on recent VLA observations at 34 GHz with 7.8 μJy sensitivity and resolution of mas. We report 44 partially resolved compact sources clustered in two regions in the E arm of ionized gas that orbits Sgr A∗. These sources have size scales ranging between ∼50 and 200 mas (400-1600 AUs), and a bow- shock appearance facing the direction of Sgr A∗. Unlike the bow-shock sources previously identified in the near-IR but associated with massive stars, these 34 GHz sources do not appear to have near-IR counterparts at 3.8 μm. We interpret these sources as a candidate population of photoevaporative protoplanetary disks (proplyds) that are associated with newly formed low mass stars with mass loss rates ∼10-7-10-6 Myr-1 and are located at the edge of a molecular cloud outlined by ionized gas. The disks are externally illuminated by strong Lyman continuum radiation from the ∼100 OB and WR massive stars distributed within 10″ of Sgr A∗. The presence of proplyds implies current in situ star formation activity near Sgr A∗ and opens a window for the first time to study low mass star, planetary, and brown dwarf formations near a supermassive black hole.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberL26
    Pages (from-to)1-7
    Number of pages7
    JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
    Volume801
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2015

    Keywords

    • galaxy: center
    • H II regions
    • ISM: general
    • radio continuum: ISM
    • stars: protostars

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