The SOFIA/FORCAST Galactic Center Legacy Survey: Overview and First Results
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Matt Hankins
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The inner ~200 pc of the Milky Way is home to a warm, turbulent interstellar medium that is unlike any other part of our galaxy. Physical conditions in the region are thought to be similar to active star forming galaxies; however, the star formation rate (SFR) predicted by current models overestimate the observed Galactic center (GC) value by an order of magnitude. In order to study this discrepancy and better constrain the mid-infrared SFR, we carried out an imaging survey of the most active star forming portions of the GC using SOFIA/FORCAST at 25 and 37 microns. These observations trace warm dust emission which is ideal for probing recent star formation and present a significant upgrade over previous maps at similar wavelengths which suffer from saturation or confusion due to relatively low spatial resolution. In this talk, we will present an overview of the survey along with first science results and plans for data products that will be released as part of the legacy program.

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