On the origin of young stars at the Galactic center

Ann-Marie Madigan, Oliver Pfuhl, Yuri Levin, Stefan Gillessen, Reinhard Genzel, Hagai B Perets

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch


The center of our Galaxy is home to a massive black hole, Sgr A*, and a nuclear star cluster containing stellar populations of various ages. While the late type stars may be too old to have retained memory of their initial orbital configuration, and hence formation mechanism, the kinematics of the early type stars should reflect their original distribution. In this contribution we present a new statistic which uses directly-observable kinematic stellar data to infer orbital parameters for stellar populations, and is capable of distinguishing between different origin scenarios. We use it on a population of B-stars in the Galactic center that extends out to large radii (~0.5 pc) from the massive black hole. We find that the high K-magnitude population (≲15 M) form an eccentric distribution, suggestive of a Hills binary-disruption origin.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
EditorsLorant Sjouwerman, Cornelia Lang, Jürgen Ott
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventInternational Astronomical Union Symposium 2013: The Galactic Center: Feeding and Feedback in a Normal Galactic Nucleus - La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe, United States of America
Duration: 30 Sept 20134 Oct 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
PublisherCambridge University Press


ConferenceInternational Astronomical Union Symposium 2013
Abbreviated titleIAU Sympoisum 303
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
CitySanta Fe
Internet address

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