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12th of July 2016
The Central Molecular Zone traced by ammonia gas
by Nico Krieger (MPIA, Germany)
The Survey of Water and Ammonia in the Galactic Center (SWAG) uses ATNF's Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) to map the central region of the Milky Way where the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) resides. Clouds of molecular gas trace the shape of an infinity symbol, especially visible in the "dust ridge" between the Galactic Center at Sagittarius A* and the giant molecular cloud Sagittarius B2. SWAG utilizes the full capabilities of ATCA to observe 42 spectral lines of which ammonia (NH3) in its lowest excited rotational state (J=1,K=1) is shown above. Data acquisition is currently ongoing and will extend the imaged region by three times towards positive and negative Galactic longitudes to offer an unprecedented overview of the Galactic Center.

Reference: Krieger, N. 2016, Master thesis, University Heidelberg

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