Month: February 2021

Protostellar Outflows Detected in the Galactic Center!

Postdoc Daniel Walker in our group has published a paper reporting some of the very first detections of protostellar outflows1 in our Galaxy’s Center! These outflows are found toward “The Brick” cloud (G0.253+0.016), which previously showed tentative signs of active star formation. Using ALMA Band 6 data, Dr. Walker found 18 continuum sources, 9 of which are driving bipolar molecular outflows in SiO (5-4) emission. Somewhat amazingly though, there is NO evidence for high-mass protostars within this field, the observations instead being consistent with a cluster of low- to intermediate-mass protostars. These incredible new data demonstrate that we are likely not missing any high-mass star formation in our estimates (meaning the low star formation rate of the CMZ is probably real!) and also provide some of the first examples of protostellar outflows toward our Galactic Center, for detailed study of the physics of protostellar accretion in this environment. Congrats, Dan!

1See also recent work by collaborator Dr. Xing Lu and members of our group on another sample of protostellar outflows in the Galactic Center.

Brick Outflows Walker 2021

An image highlighting the outflows as traced by SiO (5-4) emission. Blue is velocities from 29-42 km/s and red is 43-56 km/s. Continuum sources are shown by white ellipses.


Fiery Cores Published

Fiery cores whiteboard to reality

From the UConn Astronomy meeting room whiteboard (left) to ApJ letters (right) in just over a year! Read all about the distribution of star formation and gas in Galaxy Centers from cosmological zoom-in simulations. We find that there are two classes of centers: bursty and smooth. The bursty centers are the only ones able to simultaneously match the Milky Way’s CMZ star formation rate and gas density, supporting the idea that star formation in the CMZ may be bursty. This might help to explain the unexpectedly low star formation rate of our Galaxy’s Center at the current time.