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Galaxies 2018, 6(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies6020055

Constraints on the Distribution of Gas and Young Stars in the Galactic Centre in the Context of Interpreting Gamma Ray Emission Features

1
Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, 146 Brownlow Hill, Liverpool L3 5RF, UK
2
Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Mönchhofstraße 12-14, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 April 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 9 May 2018 / Published: 15 May 2018
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Abstract

Gamma ray observations have found evidence of an extremely energetic outflow emanating from the Galactic Centre, and an ‘excess’ of emission at GeV energies towards the Galactic Centre over that expected from current models. Determining whether the outflow is AGN- or star formation-driven, and whether the ‘excess’ is astrophysical in origin or requires new physics (e.g., self-annihilation of dark matter), requires the accurate modelling of the expected energy injection from astrophysical sources and the subsequent interaction with the surrounding environment. We briefly summarise current constraints on the distribution of gas and young stars in the inner few hundred parsecs of the Galaxy that can be included in future 2D and 3D modelling of the astrophysical gamma ray emission. The key points to highlight with respect to predominantly axisymmetric models currently in use are: (i) the distribution of dense gas, young stars and interstellar radiation field is highly asymmetric around the Galactic Centre; (ii) star formation is almost exclusively constrained to a Galactocentric radius of ∼100 pc; and (iii) the star formation rate in this region has been constant at ≲0.1 M yr 1 to within a factor of 2 over the last ∼5 Myr. View Full-Text
Keywords: galactic centre; star formation; interstellar medium; Fermi bubble; galactic centre gamma ray excess galactic centre; star formation; interstellar medium; Fermi bubble; galactic centre gamma ray excess
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Longmore, S.N.; Kruijssen, J.M.D. Constraints on the Distribution of Gas and Young Stars in the Galactic Centre in the Context of Interpreting Gamma Ray Emission Features. Galaxies 2018, 6, 55.

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