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Discovery of possible molecular counterparts to the infrared double helix nebula in the galactic center


We have discovered two molecular features at radial velocities of -35 km s-1 and 0 km s-1 toward the infrared Double Helix Nebula (DHN) in the Galactic center with NANTEN2. The two features show good spatial correspondence with the DHN. We have also found two elongated molecular ridges at these two velocities distributed vertically to the Galactic plane over 0.°8. The two ridges are linked by broad features in velocity and are likely connected physically with each other. The ratio between the 12CO J = 2-1 and J = 1-0 transitions is 0.8 in the ridges which is larger than the average value 0.5 in the foreground gas, suggesting the two ridges are in the Galactic center. An examination of the K band extinction reveals a good coincidence with the CO 0 km s-1 ridge and is consistent with a distance of 8 ± 2 kpc. We discuss the possibility that the DHN was created by a magnetic phenomenon incorporating torsional Alfvén waves launched from the circum-nuclear disk and present a first estimate of the mass and energy involved in the DHN. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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