An energetic high-velocity compact cloud: CO-0.31+0.11

Shunya Takekawa, Tomoharu Oka, Sekito Tokuyama, Kyosuke Tanabe, Yuhei Iwata, Shiho Tsujimoto, Mariko Nomura, Yukihiro Shibuya

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8 Citations (Scopus)


We have discovered an energetic high-velocity compact cloud CO-0.31+$0.11 in the central molecular zone of our Galaxy. CO-0.31+$0.11 is located at a projected distance of ∼45 pc from the Galactic nucleus Sgr A∗. It is characterized by its compact spatial appearance (d 4 pc), extremely broad velocity width (ΔV > 100 km s-1), and high CO J = 3-2/J = 1-0 intensity ratio. The total gas mass and kinetic energy are estimated as approximately 104, M⊙ and 1051 erg, respectively. Two expanding bubble-like structures are found in our HCN J = 1-0 map obtained with the Nobeyama Radio Observatory 45 m telescope. In the longitude-velocity maps, CO-0.31+$0.11 exhibits an asymmetric V shape. This kinematical structure can be well fitted by Keplerian motion on an eccentric orbit around a point mass of 2× 105 M⊙. The enhanced CO J = 3-2/J = 1-0 ratio is possibly attributed to the tidal compression during the pericenter passage. The model suggests that a huge mass is packed within a radius of r < 0.1 pc. The huge mass, compactness, and absence of luminous stellar counterparts may correspond to a signature of an intermediate-mass black hole (IMBH) inside. We propose a formation scenario of CO-0.31+0.11 in which a compact cloud has gravitationally interacted with an IMBH and a bipolar molecular outflow was driven by the past activity of the putative IMBH.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberS21
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Japan
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1


  • Galaxy: center
  • ISM: clouds
  • ISM: kinematics and dynamics
  • ISM: molecules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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