The spatial distribution and velocity field of the molecular hydrogen line emission from the centre of the galaxy

Ian Gatley, Terry J. Jones, A. R. Hyland, Richard Wade, T. R. Geballe, Kevin Krisciunas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

In an earlier paper we have demonstrated the existence of a ring of molecular hydrogen-line emission surrounding the nucleus of the Galaxy. Here we present the first detailed maps of the surface brightness and the velocity field, made in the v=1-0 5(1) line of molecular hydrogen with a spatial resolution of 18 arcsec and a velocity resolution of 130 km s-1. We find that the molecular ring is tilted approximately 20° out of the plane of the Galaxy, has a broken and clumpy appearance, rotates at 100 km s-1 in the sense of galactic rotation, and exhibits radial motion at a velocity of 50 km s-1. We interpret the radial motion as infall. Our earlier model, in which the molecular ring is created and excited by a single central engine, possibly a black hole, remains viable, and is further sup- ported and refined by the present observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-306
Number of pages8
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume222
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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