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New Observational Perspectives on the Galaxy's Central Bulge/Bar System
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Update time: 2017-09-15
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 Title: New Observational Perspectives on the Galaxy's Central Bulge/Bar System 
   Speaker: Mike Rich (UCLA)
 Abstract:
The center of the Milky Way hosts 2x10^10 Solar masses of stars in its central 5,000 light years. This central region is of great interest because the stars have signs of a formation history that is very different from the vicinity of our Sun- a history in which successive generations of supernovae built up the elements we observe today. I will review what we know about this region and report n new results, from a new map of the velocities of stars that suggests that the bulge/bar formed from a the buckling of a massive disk, to investigations of the properties of red giant stars lying only 1 parsec from the central black hole, to the global kinematics of red giants hosting SiO maser sources.The unusual characteristics and formation history of this region informs us about th history of galaxy forma ion in general.

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