An image of the Central Molecular Zone in three colors from the Herschel space telescope with the words Professor Cara Battersby on top in script.

Contact Information


Office: Gant South S-113F

Virtual Office:

Phone: (860 ) 486-3988

Address: Department of Physics
196A Auditorium Rd, Unit 3046
Storrs, CT 06269-3046

Dr. Cara Battersby is an assistant professor of physics at the University of Connecticut, specializing in observational astrophysics. Prof. Battersby studies how stars are born in our Galaxy’s Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) by combining large observational surveys and numerical simulations.

Prof. Battersby has authored over 70 publications and given over 50 invited research presentations. Read more about her research, team, and accolades

In 2017, Prof. Battersby founded the Milky Way Laboratory, a research group at the University of Connecticut that specializes in using our home Galaxy as a laboratory for understanding star formation throughout the cosmos.

An image of Dr. Cara Battersby

RSS Recent Publications

  • JWST reveals widespread CO ice and gas absorption in the Galactic Center cloud G0.253+0.016 August 30, 2023
    We report JWST NIRCam observations of G0.253+0.016, the molecular cloud in the Central Molecular Zone known as The Brick, with the F182M, F187N, F212N, F410M, F405N, and F466N filters. We catalog 56,146 stars detected in all 6 filters using the crowdsource package. Stars within and behind The Brick exhibit prodigious absorption in the F466N filter […]
    Adam Ginsburg
  • CMZoom III: Spectral Line Data Release January 11, 2023
    We present an overview and data release of the spectral line component of the SMA Large Program, \textit{CMZoom}. \textit{CMZoom} observed $^{12}$CO(2-1), $^{13}$CO(2-1) and C$^{18}$O(2-1), three transitions of H$_{2}$CO, several transitions of CH$_{3}$OH, two transitions of OCS and single transitions of SiO and SO, within gas above a column density of N(H$_2$)$\ge 10^{23}$\,cm$^{-2}$ in the Central […]
    Daniel Callanan
  • ALMA uncovers highly filamentary structure towards the Sgr E region September 23, 2022
    We report on the discovery of linear filaments observed in CO(1-0) emission for a $\sim2'$ field of view toward the Sgr E star forming region centered at (l,b)=(358.720$^\circ$, 0.011$^\circ$). The Sgr E region is thought to be at the turbulent intersection of the ''far dust lane'' associated with the Galactic bar and the Central Molecular […]
    J. Wallace
  • The initial conditions for young massive cluster formation in the Galactic Centre: convergence of large-scale gas flows May 16, 2022
    Young massive clusters (YMCs) are compact ($\lesssim$1 pc), high-mass (>10${}^4$ M${}_{\odot}$) stellar systems of significant scientific interest. Due to their rarity and rapid formation, we have very few examples of YMC progenitor gas clouds before star formation has begun. As a result, the initial conditions required for YMC formation are uncertain. We present high-resolution (0.13$^{\prime\prime}$, […]
    Bethan A. Williams
  • Star Formation in the Central Molecular Zone of the Milky Way March 21, 2022
    The Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) is a ring-like accumulation of molecular gas in the innermost few hundred parsecs of the Milky Way, generated by the inward transport of matter driven by the Galactic bar. The CMZ is the most extreme star-forming environment in the Galaxy. The unique combination of large-scale dynamics and extreme interstellar medium […]
    Jonathan D. Henshaw
  • Virial Clumps in Central Molecular Zone Clouds February 28, 2022
    CMZoom survey observations with the Submillimeter Array are analyzed to describe the virial equilibrium (VE) and star-forming potential of 755 clumps in 22 clouds in the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) of the Milky Way. In each cloud, nearly all clumps follow the column-density-mass trend N~M^s, where s = 0.38 +- 0.03 is near the pressure-bounded […]
    Philip C. Myers
  • The Magnetic Field in the Milky Way Filamentary Bone G47 January 28, 2022
    Star formation primarily occurs in filaments where magnetic fields are expected to be dynamically important. The largest and densest filaments trace spiral structure within galaxies. Over a dozen of these dense ($\sim$10$^4$\,cm$^{-3}$) and long ($>$10\,pc) filaments have been found within the Milky Way, and they are often referred to as "bones." Until now, none of […]
    Ian W. Stephens
  • ALMA-IMF II -- investigating the origin of stellar masses: Continuum Images and Data Processing December 15, 2021
    We present the first data release of the ALMA-IMF Large Program, which covers the 12m-array continuum calibration and imaging. The ALMA-IMF Large Program is a survey of fifteen dense molecular cloud regions spanning a range of evolutionary stages that aims to measure the core mass function (CMF). We describe the data acquisition and calibration done […]
    A. Ginsburg


  • The MW Lab at an Art Exhibit at the University of Hartford
    The Milky Way Laboratory was invited to collaborate with Genevieve de Leon, the 2022-23 Koopman Distinguished Chair in the Painting Department at the University of Hartford, for an exhibition focused on the intersection between the Maya calendrical cycles and scientific studies of the cosmos. From the Milky Way Laboratory, H Perry Hatchfield, Jennifer Wallace, Dani […]
  • SgrE paper published!
    Graduate student Jennifer Wallace’s paper on molecular filaments observed towards the Sagittarius E star forming region has been published in ApJ! Congratulations, Jen! 🥳🤩 The Sgr E region is located near the dynamic intersection between the Galaxy’s Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) and the ‘far dust lane’, a stream of inflowing gas that helps transport material from […]
  • Large collaborative ACES grant funded!
    Our collaborative NSF proposal (led by Prof. Betsy Mills at KU and co-PIed with Adam Ginsburg at UF, Qizhou Zhang at SAO, and John Bally at Colorado) to fund research studying gas flows in our Galaxy’s Center using the ACES survey (more below!) has been awarded! 🥳🥰 With the ALMA CMZ Exploration Survey, an approved […]