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Paper: Constraints on the Density of the Dark Cusp Around the Galactic Center Supermassive Black Hole With a Newly Detected, Old, {≈}79 Day Period Stellar Binary System
Volume: 528, New Horizons in Galactic Center Astronomy and Beyond
Page: 393
Authors: Gautam, A. K.; Do, T.; Ghez, A. M.; Hosek Jr., M. W.; Naoz, S.; Sakai, S.; Morris, M. R.; Cochran, E.; Martinez, G. D.; Chu, D. S.; Lu, J. R.; Jia, S.; Becklin, E. E.; Matthews, K.
Abstract: We present evidence for an ellipsoidal binary system at the Milky Way Galactic center (GC) with a binary orbital period of ≈79 days. This source is observed with near-infrared adaptive optics (AO) imaging data using the Keck II NIRC2 imager over a ≈ 13 year time baseline. We model the source's photometry with an astrophysical binary model coupled with a stellar evolutionary model. Our photometry is consistent with the GC distance and ∼10 Gyr age. The presence of such an old, long-period binary in the GC implies that there has been few encounters with other sources that would disrupt the binary. This system therefore constrains the number of stellar remnants in its vicinity, ≲ 103 within ≈1/4 pc of the supermassive black hole.
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