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Published 1989 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Manifestations of a Massive Black Hole in the Galactic Center


A young star cluster is a less contrived explanation than a massive black hole for many of the features seen in the Galactic center. However from a Copernican point of view, this explanation is less attractive than a black hole. The evidence for a ~ 10^6 M_⊙ black hole is becoming progressively less convincing, but the case against it is no stronger. We describe the development of a singular star cluster, as well as the processes of stellar disruption, merging, and gas accretion in such a cluster. Recently merged stars and tidally stripped giants may be detectable within an arcminute of the Galactic Center. We examine the physics of star formation in the inner parsecs of the galaxy, and the problem of maintaining the two parsec molecular torus.

Additional Information

© 1989 IAU. I thank the editor for his forbearance, Liz for typing, Tim de Zeeuw for comments, and the Irvine Foundation and the NSF for support under PYI grant AST 84-51725.

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Published - 1989IAUS__136__543P.pdf


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