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Observational constraints on the formation and evolution of the Milky Way nuclear star cluster with Keck and Gemini


We summarize work on the central parsec of the Galactic center based on imaging and spectroscopic observations at the Keck and Gemini telescopes. These observations include stellar positions in two dimension and the velocity in three dimensions. Spectroscopic observations also enables measurements of the physical properties of individual stars, such as the spectral type and in some cases the effective temperature, metallicity, and surface gravity. These observations show a complex stellar population with a young (4-6 Myr) compact star cluster in the central 0.5 pc embedded in in an older and much more massive nuclear star cluster. Surprisingly, the old late-type giants do not show a cusp profile as long been expected from theoretical work. The majority of the stars have higher than solar metallicity, with only about 6% of the stars having [M/Fe] < -0.5, which is consistent with an origin from the MW disk.

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