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The Nature of the Galactic Center Arc

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Unsolved Problems of the Milky Way

Part of the book series: International Astronomical Union / Union Astronomique Internationale ((IAUS,volume 169))

Abstract

Ever since the Galactic Center Arc was resolved into its component filaments a decade ago, it has been clear that its linear structure arises from the influence of a strong magnetic field. However, the origin and nature of the contributory phenomena have remained elusive. Since what is seen is synchrotron emission from relativistic particles, of prime interest is a knowledge of the acceleration mechanism involved. Interferometric imaging of the molecular gas in the vicinity of the Arc has now provided a tantalizing clue to the Arc’s origin: molecular clumps coinciding with the endpoints of a number of the Arc’s filaments point to these clumps as the source of the relativistic particles. This suggests that as dense molecular clumps course through the ambient magnetic field at the Galactic Center, magnetic energy is liberated in their leading layers via field reconnection, precipitating rapid acceleration of free charges to high energy.

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© 1996 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

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Serabyn, E. (1996). The Nature of the Galactic Center Arc. In: Blitz, L., Teuben, P. (eds) Unsolved Problems of the Milky Way. International Astronomical Union / Union Astronomique Internationale, vol 169. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-1687-6_32

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-1687-6_32

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-7923-4040-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-94-009-1687-6

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