A deep submillimeter survey of the Galactic center

D. Pierce-Price, J. S. Richer, J. S. Greaves, W. S. Holland, T. Jenness, A. N. Lasenby, G. J. White, H. E. Matthews, D. Ward-Thompson, W. R.F. Dent, R. Zylka, P. Mezger, T. Hasegawa, T. Oka, A. Omont, G. Gilmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Citations (Scopus)


We present first results from a submillimeter continuum survey of the Galactic center "central molecular zone" (CMZ), made with the Submillimeter Common-User Bolometer Array (SCUBA) on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope. SCUBA's scan-map mode has allowed us to make extremely wide field maps of thermal dust emission with unprecedented speed and sensitivity. We also discuss some issues related to the elimination of artifacts in scan-map data. Our simultaneous 850/450 μm maps have a total size of approximately 2°.8 × 0°5 (400 × 75 pc) elongated along the Galactic plane. They cover the Sagittarius A region, including Sgr A *, the circumnuclear disk, and the 20 and 50 km s-1 clouds; the area around the Pistol; Sgr B2, the brightest feature on the maps; and at their Galactic western and eastern edges the Sgr C and Sgr D regions. There are many striking features such as filaments and shell-like structures as well as point sources such as Sgr A * itself. The total mass in the CMZ is greater than that revealed in previous optically thin molecular line maps by a factor of ∼3, and new details are revealed on scales down to 0.33 pc across this 400 pc-wide region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L121-L125
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 2
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Dec 20
Externally publishedYes


  • Dust, extinction
  • Galaxy: center
  • ISM: clouds
  • ISM: structure
  • Submillimeter
  • Techniques: image processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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