Can a satellite galaxy merger explain the active past of the galactic centre?

M. Lang, K. Holley-Bockelmann, T. Bogdanović, P. Amaro-Seoane, A. Sesana, M. Sinha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Observations of the Galactic Centre (GC) have accumulated a multitude of 'forensic' evidence indicating that several million years ago the centre of the MilkyWay galaxy was teeming with star formation and accretion-powered activity - this paints a rather different picture from the GC as we understand it today. We examine a possibility that this epoch of activity could have been triggered by the infall of a satellite galaxy into the MilkyWay which began at the redshift of z = 8 and ended a few million years ago with a merger of the Galactic supermassive black hole with an intermediate-mass black hole brought in by the inspiralling satellite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2574-2584
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 21 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Centre - galaxy
  • Galaxy
  • Interactions
  • Kinematics and dynamics - galaxy
  • Nucleus - galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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