University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Friday, October 28th 2016
Speaker: Dr. Cornelia Lang, U. Iowa
Subject: The Central Molecular Zone of the Galaxy: Dense Molecular Clouds, Massive Stars and Magnetic Fields

In addition to harboring a supermassive black hole at its very core, the Galactic Center is one of the most physically extreme environments in the Galaxy. Dense and massive molecular clouds are abundant in this region, yet star formation is not as active as one might expect. In addition, radio observations have revealed a population of synchrotron-emitting filaments that provide insight on the magnetic field strength and configuration in this unique region of the Galaxy. Physical interactions may be occurring at the interfaces of dense molecular clouds and the interstellar magnetic filaments. I will review recent observational results of several unusual molecular clouds and the population of magnetized filaments that stand out in radio continuum images of the Galactic center and discuss the implications for better understanding the astrophysics of this region.

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