Journal Article

Resonant relaxation and the warp of the stellar disc in the Galactic Centre

Bence Kocsis and Scott Tremaine

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 412, issue 1, pages 187-207
Published in print March 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online March 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17897.x
Resonant relaxation and the warp of the stellar disc in the Galactic Centre

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Observations of the spatial distribution and kinematics of young stars in the Galactic Centre can be interpreted as showing that the stars occupy one, or possibly two, discs of radii ∼0.05–0.5 pc. The most prominent (‘clockwise’) disc exhibits a strong warp: the normals to the mean orbital planes in the inner and the outer third of the disc differ by ∼60°. Using an analytical model based on Laplace–Lagrange theory, we show that such warps arise naturally and inevitably through vector resonant relaxation between the disc and the surrounding old stellar cluster.

Keywords: celestial mechanics; Galaxy: centre; Galaxy: nucleus

Journal Article.  14790 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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