Recent observations of the Galactic center revealed a nuclear disk of young OB stars near the massive black hole (MBH), in addition to many similar outlying stars with higher eccentricities and/or high inclinations relative to the disk (some of them possibly belonging to a second disk). In addition, observations show the existence of young B stars (the ’S-cluster’) in an isotropic distribution in the close vicinity of the MBH (< 0.04 pc).We use extended N-body simulations to probe the dynamical evolution of these two populations. We show that the stellar disk could have evolved to its currently observed state from a thin disk of stars formed in a gaseous disk, and that the dominant component in its evolution is the interaction with stars in the cusp around the MBH. We also show that the currently observed distribution of the S-stars could be consistent with a capture origin through 3- body binary-MBH interactions. In this scenario the stars are captured at highly eccentric orbits, but scattering by stellar black holes could change their eccentricity distribution to be consistent with current observations.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



Memorie della Societa Astronomica Italiana 79 (2008) 1100-1104 Also archived in arXiv:0807.2340 v1 Jul 15, 2008. Proceedings from The Central Kiloparsec: Active Nuclei And Their Hosts from Ierapetra, Crete, Greece, June 4-6, 2008 Note: 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