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A NEW PERSPECTIVE of the RADIO BRIGHT ZONE at the GALACTIC CENTER: FEEDBACK from NUCLEAR ACTIVITIES

  • Author(s): Zhao, JH;
  • Morris, MR;
  • Goss, WM
  • et al.
Abstract

New observations of Sgr A have been carried out with the Jansky VLA in the B and C arrays using the broadband (2 GHz) continuum mode at 5.5 GHz. The field of view covers the central 13′ (30 pc) region of the radio-bright zone at the Galactic center. Using the multi-scale and multi-frequency-synthesis (MS-MFS) algorithms in CASA, we have imaged Sgr A with a resolution of 1″, achieving an rms noise of 8 μJy beam-1, and a dynamic range of 100,000:1. Both previously known and newly identified radio features in this region are revealed, including numerous filamentary sources. The radio continuum image is compared with Chandra X-ray images, with a CN emission-line image obtained with the Submillimeter Array and with detailed Paschen-α images obtained with Hubble Space Telescope/NICMOS. We discuss several prominent features in the radio image. The "Sgr A west Wings" extend 2′ (5 pc) from the NW and SE tips of the Sgr A west H ii region (the "Mini-spiral") to positions located 2.9 and 2.4 arcmin to the northwest and southeast of Sgr A∗, respectively. The NW wing, along with several other prominent features, including the previously identified "NW Streamers," form an elongated radio lobe (NW lobe), oriented nearly perpendicular to the Galactic plane. This radio lobe, with a size of 6.′3 ×3.′2 (14.4 pc × 7.3 pc), has a known X-ray counterpart. In the outer region of the NW lobe, a row of three thermally emitting rings is observed. A field containing numerous amorphous radio blobs extends for a distance of ∼2 arcmin beyond the tip of the SE wing; these newly recognized features coincide with the SE X-ray lobe. Most of the amorphous radio blobs in the NW and SE lobes have Paschen-α counterparts. We propose that they have been produced by shock interaction of ambient gas concentrations with a collimated nuclear wind or an outflow that originated from within the circumnuclear disk (CND). We also discuss the possibility that the ionized wind or outflow has been launched by radiation force produced by the central star cluster. Finally, we remark on the detailed structure of a prominent radio emission feature located within the shell of the Sgr A east supernova remnant. Because this feature - the "Sigma Front" - correlates well in shape and orientation with the nearby edge of the CND, we propose that it is a reflected shock wave resulting from the impact of the Sgr A east blast wave on the CND.

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