The star formation in the Galactic Centre. Finding the missing young stars

The Milky Way’s centre is the closest galaxy nucleus and our Galaxy’s most extreme environment. In spite of occupying less than 1% of the Galactic disc’s volume, this region was responsible for up to 10% of the entire Milky Way’s star forming activity over the past 100 Myr. Therefore, the Galactic centre is the most active star forming region of the Milky Way when averaged over volume, constituting a perfect laboratory to understand star formation under extreme conditions, similar to those in starburst or high-redshift galaxies. However, there are only two known young clusters at the Galactic centre, that account for <10% of the expected young stellar mass. In this talk I will discuss the challenges hampering the observation of the Galactic centre and will present our results on the Sagittarius B1 region, where we find evidence for the presence of several 105 solar masses of young stars that formed ~10 Myr ago. This is a large step towards more complete census of young stars and opens the field for a better understanding of star formation at the Galactic centre, such as the fate of young clusters and the possibly different initial mass function in this region.

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