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Star Formation and Dynamics in the Galactic Centre

Mapelli, M and Gualandris, A (2015) Star Formation and Dynamics in the Galactic Centre

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The centre of our Galaxy is one of the most studied and yet enigmatic places in the Universe. At a distance of about 8 kpc from our Sun, the Galactic centre (GC) is the ideal environment to study the extreme processes that take place in the vicinity of a supermassive black hole (SMBH). Despite the hostile environment, several tens of early-type stars populate the central parsec of our Galaxy. A fraction of them lie in a thin ring with mild eccentricity and inner radius ~0.04 pc, while the S-stars, i.e. the ~30 stars closest to the SMBH (<0.04 pc), have randomly oriented and highly eccentric orbits. The formation of such early-type stars has been a puzzle for a long time: molecular clouds should be tidally disrupted by the SMBH before they can fragment into stars. We review the main scenarios proposed to explain the formation and the dynamical evolution of the early-type stars in the GC. In particular, we discuss the most popular in situ scenarios (accretion disc fragmentation and molecular cloud disruption) and migration scenarios (star cluster inspiral and Hills mechanism). We focus on the most pressing challenges that must be faced to shed light on the process of star formation in the vicinity of a SMBH.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Mapelli, M
Date : 20 May 2015
DOI : 10.1007/978-3-319-19416-5_6
Uncontrolled Keywords : astro-ph.GA, astro-ph.GA, astro-ph.HE, astro-ph.SR
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 13:38
Last Modified : 25 Jan 2020 00:12

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