Journal Article

The coupling of a young stellar disc with the molecular torus in the Galactic Centre

J. Haas, L. Šubr and P. Kroupa

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 412, issue 3, pages 1905-1912
Published in print April 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
The coupling of a young stellar disc with the molecular torus in the Galactic Centre

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The Galactic Centre hosts, according to observations, a number of early-type stars. About one half of those which are orbiting the central supermassive black hole on orbits with projected radii ≳0.03 pc form a coherently rotating disc. Observations further reveal a massive gaseous torus and a significant population of late-type stars. In this paper, we investigate, by means of numerical N-body computations, the orbital evolution of the stellar disc, which we consider to be initially thin. We include the gravitational influence of both the torus and the late-type stars, as well as the self-gravity of the disc. Our results show that, for a significant set of system parameters, the evolution of the disc leads, within the lifetime of the early-type stars, to a configuration compatible with the observations. In particular, the disc naturally reaches a specific – perpendicular – orientation with respect to the torus, which is indeed the configuration observed in the Galactic Centre. We, therefore, suggest that all the early-type stars may have been born within a single gaseous disc.

Keywords: methods: numerical; stars: kinematics and dynamics; Galaxy: nucleus

Journal Article.  6163 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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