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Paper: The 16-45 micron observations of the Galactic Center
Volume: 73, Airborne Astronomy Symposium on the Galactic Ecosystem: From Gas to Stars to Dust
Page: 505
Authors: Chan, Kin-Wing; Moseley, S. Harvey; Casey, Sean; Dwek, E.; Loewenstein, Robert F.; Glaccum, W.
Abstract: Existing observations of the Galactic Center at infrared and radio wavelengths challenge our understanding of the detailed morphology and energy balance of the inner few parsec, including the Galactic Center and the infrared torus. The distribution and nature of the sources heating this region are still not well understood; existing determinations of dust temperature and ionization do not provide us with consistent pictures of the relative important of the central source and the embedded stars in this dusty region. The composite IR emission of the Galactic Center can be crudely divided into three categories: (1) hot dust heated directly by an incident UV field along the inner region of the Galactic Center torus; (2) warm dust heated by te non-ionizing radiation of the embedded stars and re-radiated NIR dust emission; (3) cooler absorbing dust located along the galactic line of sight. The apparent inconsistencies between the observations and theoretical expectations may stem from the interplay of various physical process and source-cloud geometries. Observations with increased spatial and spectral resolution are clearly needed to provide the information necessary to address the various problems. Therefore, we made 15-45 micron spectrophotometric observations of the inner 80 min (3 pc) regions surrounding the Galactic Center with the 20 min aperture of Goddard Cryogenic Grating Spectrometer No. 2 in May 1994 from the KAO. We measured nine points, including the 50 and 90 micron peaks of Davidson et al. and points between them and SgrA,. The wavelength coverage of our instrument ensures sensitivity to the hot dust component, silicate emission and/or absorption features, and cooler dust at longer wavelengths. Our observations will be used to set limits on the luminosity of any central sources, or give an independent estimate of central luminosity, and to set limits on the range of acceptable dust parameters for this region.
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