Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik

- Infrared/Submillimeter Astronomy -

Galactic Center Workshop Ringberg 2007

GC 2007

 .MPE . Infrared Astronomy . Meetings . GC 2007 . Science
GC 2007








Conference Photo (1 MByte!)



Scientific rationale

Stellar orbits around SgrA*

In the year 2007 the star S2 orbiting the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way will close its first orbit entirely covered by observations. This we take as a motive to organize this workshop dedicated to the Galactic Center. The observations of S2 were a cornerstone towards the direct analysis of the central mass and radio source Sagittarius A*, which was directly proven to be a black hole this way.

NIR outburst in 2003

Triggered by this "anniversary" we focus on stellar dynamics in the GC. One of the most important observational projects for the near future will be the detection of relativistic effects in stellar orbits. This will test one of the most fundamental theories of physics, gravitation and general relativity, on a so far unprobed mass scale. This includes discussions on the potential of interferometric measurements in the infrared that will be possible in a few years.

At the same time we also want to keep an eye on the broader context that is necessary for the overall understanding of the Galactic Center. This covers especially the star formation and the so-far poorly understood spatial distribution of a population of young stars in two disks. Other hot research topics are the gas dynamics around and the mass accretion onto the central black hole. We will discuss the variable emission of SgrA* observed over a large part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The Galactic Center is a well-examined test case for galactic black holes in general. Therefore we aim at expanding the context towards central black holes in other galaxies, thus bridging to state-of-the-art cosmological questions.

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