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Mass distribution in the galactic centre

Abstract

New infrared and submillimetre spectroscopic measurements of the gas dynamics in the central 10 pc of our Galaxy make a convincing case that the mass distribution at the centre of the Galaxy is more concentrated than a spherical isothermal stellar cluster. The measurements fit a point mass of 4 × l06 M but are also consistent with a cluster where stellar density decreases with radius (R) at least as fast as R−2.7, or a combination of a point mass and a stellar cluster. The dynamical information combined with previous 2-µm observations favour a large point mass, which is presumably a massive black hole.

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Crawford, M., Genzel, R., Harris, A. et al. Mass distribution in the galactic centre. Nature 315, 467–470 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1038/315467a0

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