The galactic center: Not an active galactic nucleus

Deokkeun An, Solange V. Ramírez, Kris Sellgren

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6 Scopus citations


We present 10 μm-35 μm Spitzer spectra of the interstellar medium in the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ), the central 210 pc × 60 pc of the Galactic center (GC). We present maps of the CMZ in ionic and H2 emission, covering a more extensive area than earlier spectroscopic surveys in this region. The radial velocities and intensities of ionic lines and H 2 suggest that most of the H2 0-0 S(0) emission comes from gas along the line-of-sight, as found by previous work. We compare diagnostic line ratios measured in the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey to our data. Previous work shows that forbidden line ratios can distinguish star-forming galaxies from low-ionization nuclear emission-line regions (LINERs) and active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Our GC line ratios agree with star-forming galaxies and not with LINERs or AGNs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • ISM: molecules
  • galaxies: ISM
  • galaxies: active
  • galaxies: nuclei
  • galaxies: starburst
  • infrared: ISM
  • stars: formation


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