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Paper: Star Formation and Gas Dynamics of the Central Molecular Zone
Volume: 528, New Horizons in Galactic Center Astronomy and Beyond
Page: 19
Authors: Krumholz, M. R.
Abstract: In this article I review our current understanding of the dynamics of gas flow and star formation in the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) of the Milky Way, and in analogous regions in nearby galaxies. These regions present gas distributions, kinematics, and star formation behavior that differs significantly from those found at larger galactocentric radii, and I discuss the likely origins of these differences. The best current models identify the presence of a bar and the short orbital timescales, compared to the timescales of stellar feedback, as the main drivers of gas behavior in these regions. However, a number of outstanding problems remain, including the physics responsible for determining where gas piles up into rings, the exact mechanisms responsible for regulating star formation, the nature of winds from the CMZ, and nature of the connection between the the cool gas ∼ 100 pc from the Galactic center, the central black hole, and high-energy phenomena such as the Fermi bubbles.
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