A Bow Shock of Heated Dust Surrounding Galactic Center Source IRS 8

T. R. Geballe, F. Rigaut, J.-R. Roy, and B. T. Draine

Paper: ApJ, Feb 20, 2004, in press


High resolution images in the H and K bands obtained by the Gemini North Telescope of the peculiar Galactic center source, IRS 8, reveal a central pointlike object enveloped in a remarkable bow-shock, whose apex is located 0.2'' to the northeast. The H-K' color of the bow shock is considerably redder than that of the central star. A UKIRT K band spectrum reveals that the combined spectrum of the point source and bow shock is nearly featureless and that no shocked line emission (e.g., from H2) is physically associated with the bow. We interpret the bow as resulting from the interaction of the envelope or wind of the central star of IRS 8 with the extension of the Northern Arm of Sgr A West and/or the Circumnuclear Disk, and its emission as coming from radiatively- and possibly shock-heated dust.

Preprints available from the authors at tgeballe@gemini.edu , or the raw TeX (no figures) if you click here.

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