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 associate 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

  • A broad linewidth, compact, millimeter-bright molecular emission line source near the Galactic Center April 11, 2024
    A compact source, G0.02467-0.0727, was detected in ALMA \threemm observations in continuum and very broad line emission. The continuum emission has a spectral index $\alpha\approx3.3$, suggesting that the emission is from dust. The line emission is detected in several transitions of CS, SO, and SO$_2$ and exhibits a line width FWHM $\approx160$ \kms. The line […]
    Adam Ginsburg
  • Magnetic field morphology and evolution in the Central Molecular Zone and its effect on gas dynamics March 19, 2024
    The interstellar medium in the Milky Way's Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) is known to be strongly magnetised, but its large-scale morphology and impact on the gas dynamics are not well understood. We explore the impact and properties of magnetic fields in the CMZ using three-dimensional non-self gravitating magnetohydrodynamical simulations of gas flow in an external […]
    R. G. Tress
  • Thermal Properties of the Hot Core Population in Sagittarius B2 Deep South January 18, 2024
    We report the discovery of 9 new hot molecular cores in the Deep South (DS) region of Sagittarius B2 using Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array Band 6 observations. We measure the rotational temperature of CH$_3$OH and derive the physical conditions present within these cores and the hot core Sgr B2(S). The cores show heterogeneous temperature structure, […]
    Desmond Jeff
  • CMZoom IV. Incipient High-Mass Star Formation Throughout the Central Molecular Zone December 14, 2023
    In this work, we constrain the star-forming properties of all possible sites of incipient high-mass star formation in the Milky Way's Galactic Center. We identify dense structures using the CMZoom 1.3mm dust continuum catalog of objects with typical radii of $\sim$0.1pc, and measure their association with tracers of high-mass star formation. We incorporate compact emission […]
    H Perry Hatchfield
  • PRIMA General Observer Science Book October 31, 2023
    PRIMA (The PRobe for-Infrared Mission for Astrophysics) is a concept for a far-infrared (IR) observatory. PRIMA features a cryogenically cooled 1.8 m diameter telescope and is designed to carry two science instruments enabling ultra-high sensitivity imaging and spectroscopic studies in the 24 to 235 microns wavelength range. The resulting observatory is a powerful survey and […]
    A. Moullet
  • Far-Infrared Luminosity Bursts Trace Mass Accretion onto Protostars October 19, 2023
    Evidence abounds that young stellar objects undergo luminous bursts of intense accretion that are short compared to the time it takes to form a star. It remains unclear how much these events contribute to the main-sequence masses of the stars. We demonstrate the power of time-series far-infrared (far-IR) photometry to answer this question compared to […]
    William J. Fischer
  • The JWST Galactic Center Survey -- A White Paper October 18, 2023
    The inner hundred parsecs of the Milky Way hosts the nearest supermassive black hole, largest reservoir of dense gas, greatest stellar density, hundreds of massive main and post main sequence stars, and the highest volume density of supernovae in the Galaxy. As the nearest environment in which it is possible to simultaneously observe many of […]
    Rainer Schoedel
  • 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


  • 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 […]


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