What is the "stellar density" near the center of our galaxy?

Ask questions, find resources, browse the virtual shelves.
User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 10826
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

What is the "stellar density" near the center of our galaxy?

Post by Ann » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:50 am

The stellar density at the centers of globular clusters have been discussed here at Starship Asterisk*. Admittedly the stellar density is different in different globulars, and it is clearly much higher in globulars like 47 Tucanae and M15 than it is in Omega Centauri or M13. What is, in fact, the stellar density in the innermost light-year of 47 Tucanae or M15?

But I would also be very interested in comparing the stellar density of a dense globular cluster with the center of the Milky Way. What is the stellar density in the central light-year of the Milky Way, if we manage to "subtract" the central black hole from that "stellar count"?

What is the average stellar density in the innermost ten light-years of the Milky Way? What is the average stellar density in the innermost one hundred light-years?

Ann
Color Commentator

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 17525
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: What is the "stellar density" near the center of our gal

Post by neufer » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:30 pm

Ann wrote:
The stellar density at the centers of globular clusters have been discussed here at Starship Asterisk*. Admittedly the stellar density is different in different globulars, and it is clearly much higher in globulars like 47 Tucanae and M15 than it is in Omega Centauri or M13. What is, in fact, the stellar density in the innermost light-year of 47 Tucanae or M15?
47 Tucanae is about 3 to 4 times denser than M13 on average.

M15 has a "core collapse" around a central black hole
and is certainly much denser there.
Ann wrote:
But I would also be very interested in comparing the stellar density of a dense globular cluster with the center of the Milky Way. What is the stellar density in the central light-year of the Milky Way, if we manage to "subtract" the central black hole from that "stellar count"?

What is the average stellar density in the innermost ten light-years of the Milky Way? What is the average stellar density in the innermost one hundred light-years?
Art Neuendorffer

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 15326
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: What is the "stellar density" near the center of our gal

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:45 pm

Ann wrote:But I would also be very interested in comparing the stellar density of a dense globular cluster with the center of the Milky Way. What is the stellar density in the central light-year of the Milky Way, if we manage to "subtract" the central black hole from that "stellar count"?

What is the average stellar density in the innermost ten light-years of the Milky Way? What is the average stellar density in the innermost one hundred light-years?
At the center, the stellar density is over 100,000 stars per cubic parsec. But strange things are going on there because of the central black hole. A better indicator of core density is at 100 parsecs- still very, very near the center, but beyond significant influence of the black hole. At 100 pc, the stellar density is about 100 per cubic parsec, or 100 times higher than in the vicinity of the Solar System.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com