Molecular Gas Feeding the Circumnuclear Disk of the Galactic Center

Pei Ying Hsieh, Patrick M. Koch, Paul T.P. Ho, Woong Tae Kim, Ya Wen Tang, Hsiang Hsu Wang, Hsi Wei Yen, Chorng Yuan Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The interaction between a supermassive black hole (SMBH) and the surrounding material is of primary importance in modern astrophysics. The detection of the molecular 2 pc circumnuclear disk (CND) immediately around the Milky Way SMBH, SgrA∗, provides a unique opportunity to study SMBH accretion at subparsec scales. Our new wide-field CS(J = 2 - 1) map toward the Galactic center (GC) reveals multiple dense molecular streamers that originated from the ambient clouds 20 pc further out, and that are connected to the central 2 pc of the CND. These dense gas streamers appear to carry gas directly toward the nuclear region and might be captured by the central potential. Our phase-plot analysis indicates that these streamers show a signature of rotation and inward radial motion with progressively higher velocities as the gas approaches the CND and finally ends up corotating with the CND. Our results might suggest a possible mechanism of gas feeding the CND from 20 pc around 2 pc in the GC. In this paper, we discuss the morphology and the kinematics of these streamers. As the nearest observable Galactic nucleus, this feeding process may have implications for understanding the processes in extragalactic nuclei.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 20 Sep 2017


  • Galaxy: center
  • Galaxy: structure
  • ISM: molecules
  • radio lines: ISM
  • techniques: image processing


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular Gas Feeding the Circumnuclear Disk of the Galactic Center'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this