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Conference Papers Year : 2013

Traces of Past Activity in the Galactic Centre


The Milky Way centre hosts a supermassive Black Hole (BH) with a mass of ~4*10^6 M_Sun. Sgr A*, its electromagnetic counterpart, currently appears as an extremely weak source with a luminosity L~10^-9 L_Edd. The lowest known Eddington ratio BH. However, it was not always so; traces of "glorious" active periods can be found in the surrounding medium. We review here our current view of the X-ray emission from the Galactic Center (GC) and its environment, and the expected signatures (e.g. X-ray reflection) of a past flare. We discuss the history of Sgr A*'s past activity and its impact on the surrounding medium. The structure of the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) has not changed significantly since the last active phase of Sgr A*. This relic torus provides us with the opportunity to image the structure of an AGN torus in exquisite detail.

Dates and versions

in2p3-00873960 , version 1 (17-10-2013)



G. Ponti, M.R. Morris, R. Terrier, A. Goldwurm. Traces of Past Activity in the Galactic Centre. Sant Cugat Forum on Astrophysics, Apr 2012, Sant Cougat, Spain. pp.331-369, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-35410-6_26⟩. ⟨in2p3-00873960⟩
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