Donald Figer


Our Galactic Center hosts over 10% of the known massive stars in the Galaxy. The majority of these stars are located in three particularly massive clusters that formed within the past 5 Myr. While these clusters are extraordinary, their formation repesents about half of the total inferred star formation rate in the Galactic Center. There is mounting evidence that the clusters are just present-day examples of the hundreds of such similar clusters that must have been created in the past, and whose stars now comprise the bulk of all stars seen in the region. I discuss the massive stellar content in the Galactic Center and present a new analysis that suggests that effects of continuous star formation in the Galactic Center can be seen in the observed luminosity functions newly-obtained HST/NICMOS and Gemini AO data. (Refer to PDF file for exact formulas).

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



Astronomical Society of the Pacific 212 (2003) "A Massive Star Odyssey: From Main Sequence to Supernova", Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union [IAU] Symposium No. 212. Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Held in Lanzarote, Spain: 24-28 June 2002.||Also archived in: arXiv:astro-ph/0207300 v1 14 Jul 2002 I acknowledge very useful discussions with Paco Najarro, Bob Blum, Laurant Sjouwerman, Mike Rich, Mark Morris, Sungsoo Kim, and Jay Frogel. ISBN: 158-38-1133-8Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Department, Program, or Center

School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)


RIT – Main Campus