Sculpting the Galactic Centre: Astrophysics and fundamental physics with photons and gravitational waves

Since 1993 we have known that the Galactic Center (GC) displays a core-like distribution of red giant branch (RGB) stars starting at ~ 1'', which poses a theoretical problem, because the GC should have formed a segregated cusp of old stars.

I postulate that the reason for the missing stars in the RGB is closely intertwined with the formation of a formerly existing dense gas disk, an episode that removed the envelopes of these stars and released their cores. I prove that later, that disk is responsible for the thermalization of eccentricities of the stars in the immediate vicinity of the central black hole and the absence of Wolf-Rayet (WR) and O-stars inside 1''.

The degenerate cores populate the GC and represent a promising source of Extreme Mass Ratio Inspiral Events (EMRIs). I discuss the implications of this for gravitational wave observatories such as the ESA approved eLISA mission.

10/04/2014 - 14:30
Dr. Pau Amaro-Seoane
Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute)