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The Keplerian orbit of G2

  • Author(s): Meyer, L
  • Ghez, AM
  • Witzel, G
  • Do, T
  • Phifer, K
  • Sitarski, BN
  • Morris, MR
  • Boehle, A
  • Yelda, S
  • Lu, JR
  • Becklin, E
  • et al.

We give an update of the observations and analysis of G2 - the gaseous red emission-line object that is on a very eccentric orbit around the Galaxy's central black hole and predicted to come within 2400 RS in early 2014. During 2013, the laser guide star adaptive optics systems on the W. M. Keck I and II telescopes were used to obtain three epochs of spectroscopy and imaging at the highest spatial resolution currently possible in the near-IR. The updated orbital solution derived from radial velocities in addition to Br-γ line astrometry is consistent with our earlier estimates. Strikingly, even ~ 6 months before pericenter passage there is no perceptible deviation from a Keplerian orbit. We furthermore show that a proposed "tail" of G2 is likely not associated with it but is rather an independent gas structure. We also show that G2 does not seem to be unique, since several red emission-line objects can be found in the central arcsecond. Taken together, it seems more likely that G2 is ultimately stellar in nature, although there is clearly gas associated with it. Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2014.

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