AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 181 Probing the Galactic Center
Poster, Thursday, 9:20am-4:00pm, January 12, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[181.09] Massive Star Formation in the Galactic Center as Revealed by Spitzer/IRAC Observations

A. S. Cotera (SETI Institute), S. Stolovy (SSC), S. Ramirez (IPAC), J. Karr (SSC), R. G. Arendt (SSAI/GSFC), D. Gezari, H. Moseley (GSFC), C. Law, F. Yusef-Zadeh (Northwestern Univ.), K. Sellgren (OSF), H. A. Smith, R. Smith (CfA)

We investigate massive star formation in the central 280x210 pc of the Galaxy as revealed by Spitzer Space Telescope/IRAC observations (Stolovy et al., this conference). The region contains three known extremely dense clusters of massive hot young stars which ionize the unusual thermal filaments that are seen at radio wavelengths and in PAH emission in the IRAC images. We will discuss the effects of the massive stars, particularly in the Quintuplet and Arches clusters, on the morphology of the diffuse emission, and whether similar effects are seen outside the central 50 parsecs. We will combine the point-source catalog generated from our IRAC observation with near-infrared photometry available in the 2MASS catalog, deriving, for the first time, the 1-8 micron SEDs of the nearly all of the known massive stars. We will also use the combined point-source catalog to search for additional, previously undiscovered, evolved massive stars and young stellar objects. The large coverage of the survey allows us to study star formation in regions that to date have been realitively unstudied in the infrared; for instance, we will investigate the young stellar population of the highly obscured region Sgr B2.

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