Lessons from comparisons between the nuclear region of the Milky Way and those in nearby spirals

Type Conference Paper
Names John S. Gallagher, Tova M. Yoast-Hull, Ellen G. Zweibel
Conference Name IAU Symposium
Place eprint: arXiv:1312.4433
Volume 303
Pages 61-65
Date May 1, 2014
DOI 10.1017/S1743921314000155
ISBN 1743-9221
URL http://adsabs.org/2014IAUS.303.61G
Library Catalog adslabs.org
Abstract The Milky Way appears as a typical barred spiral, and comparisons can be made between its nuclear region and those of structurally similar nearby spirals. Maffei 2, M83, IC 342 and NGC 253 are nearby systems whose nuclear region properties contrast with those of the Milky Way. Stellar masses derived from NIR photometery, molecular gas masses and star formation rates allow us to assess the evolutionary states of this set of nuclear regions. These data suggest similarities between nuclear regions in terms of their stellar content while highlighting significant differences in current star formation rates. In particular current star formation rates appear to cover a larger range than expected based on the molecular gas masses. This behavior is consistent with nuclear region star formation experiencing episodic variations. Under this hypothesis the Milky Way's nuclear region currently may be in a low star formation rate phase.
Tags GALAXIES: EVOLUTION, Galaxies: ISM, Galaxy: Center, galaxies: nuclei, galaxies: spiral
UW-Madison Astronomy Home