AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 62. Sgr A* and Milky Way
Oral, Thursday, January 13, 2000, 2:00-3:30pm, Regency VII

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[62.04] Dynamical Evolution of Stars and Star Clusters in the Inner Galactic Bulge

S. S. Kim (UCLA, Division of Astronomy & Astrophysics)

The inner few hundred pc of the Galactic bulge contains stars of essentially all possible ages. Recent massive star formation there is evidenced by the observations of three clusters containing luminous emission-line stars: one in the central parsec and two others located a few tens of pc away from the center: the Arches and Quintuplet clusters. The latter two clusters are very young and compact, making them interesting in terms of their dynamical evolution. The dynamical evolution of these clusters has been studied using anisotropic Fokker-Planck models. I find that the short relaxation times attributable to the clusters' compactness and to the strong tidal fields there cause the clusters to evaporate in only 10 Myr. The central densities and apparent ages of these two clusters are consistent with the hypothesis that they represent successive stages of cluster evolution along a common track. Further dynamical evolution of isolated stars or stars resulting from cluster dissolution has been investigated by hypothesizing that newborn stars in the Galactic disk are scattered by giant molecular clouds in the central molecular zone. Monte Carlo simulations of the scatterings in the presence of the non-axisymmetric gravitational potential give the aspect ratio of the projected density distribution as a function of time. These results are compared to the observed distribution of OH/IR and AGB stars.

This work was supported in part by NASA through grant number GO-07364.01-96A to UCLA from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASAcontract NAS5-26555.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~sskim/papers.html. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: sskim@astro.ucla.edu

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