Evidence for a Long-standing Top-heavy Imf in the Central Parsec of the Galaxy


We classify 329 late-type giants within 1 parsec of Sgr A, using the adaptive optics integral field spectrometer SINFONI on the VLT. These observations represent the deepest spectroscopic data set so far obtained for the Galactic Center, reaching a 50% completeness threshold at the approximate magnitude of the helium-burning red clump (KS ∼ 15.5 mag.). Combining our spectroscopic results with NaCo H and KS photometry, we construct an observed Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, which we quantitatively compare to theoretical distributions of various star formation histories of the inner Galaxy, using a χ analysis. Our best-fit model corresponds to continuous star formation over the last 12 Gyr with a top-heavy initial mass function (IMF). The similarity of this IMF to the IMF observed for the most recent epoch of star formation is intriguing and perhaps suggests a connection between recent star formation and the stars formed throughout the history of the Galactic Center. Subject headings: Galaxy: center − stars: RC, RGB, and AGB − stars: formation

12 Figures and Tables

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Maness2007EvidenceFA, title={Evidence for a Long-standing Top-heavy Imf in the Central Parsec of the Galaxy}, author={Holly L. Maness and Frank Eisenhauer}, year={2007} }