Discovery of the pigtail molecular cloud in the galactic center

Shinji Matsumura, Tomoharu Oka, Kunihiko Tanaka, Makoto Nagai, Kazuhisa Kamegai, Tetsuo Hasegawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports the discovery of a helical molecular cloud in the central molecular zone (CMZ) of our Galaxy. This "pigtail" molecular cloud appears at (l, b, V LSR) ≃ (-0°7, + 0°.0, - 70 to -30kms-1), with a spatial size of ∼20 × 20 pc2 and a mass of (2-6) × 105 M. This is the third helical gaseous nebula found in the Galactic center region to date. Line intensity ratios indicate that the pigtail molecular cloud has slightly higher temperature and/or density than the other normal clouds in the CMZ. We also found a high-velocity wing emission near the footpoint of this cloud. We propose a formation model of the pigtail molecular cloud. It might be associated with a magnetic tube that is twisted and coiled because of the interaction between clouds in the innermost x 1 orbit and ones in the outermost x 2 orbit.

Original languageEnglish
Article number87
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sept 1


  • Galaxy: center
  • ISM: clouds
  • galaxies: ISM
  • galaxies: magnetic fields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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