Scientific Highlights
Spotlight Image
Magnetically-Structured Accretion in the Galactic Center’s Circumnuclear Disk

by Jordan Guerra and Joan Schmelz

Paper: The Strength of the Sheared Magnetic Field in the Circum-Nuclear Disk
Guerra, J.A., Lopez-Rodriguez, E., Chuss, D. Butterfield, N., Schmelz, J.T. (2023), Astrophysical Journal, submitted

The Circumnuclear Disk in the Galactic center as observed by SOFIA/HAWC+
The SOFIA/FORCAST Galactic Center Legacy Program

by Matthew Hankins

Composite infrared image of the center of our Milky Way galaxy
The Galactic Center Magnetosphere

by Natalie Butterfield

Magnetic fields over Herschel and MeerKAT images
The Role of the Magnetic Field in the Galactic Center

By Joan Schmelz (USRA)

Magnetic fields over a blue and gray image of a bright ring at the center of the Milky Way galaxy
Signatures of Star Formation in the Galactic Center

By Matthew Hankins
Paper: SOFIA/FORCAST Galactic Center Legacy Survey: Overview
Hankins et al., 2020, ApJ.

SOFIA’s first completed legacy program provides researchers with a vastly improved view of warm dust in the center of the Galaxy, revealing signatures of star formation in exquisite detail.

Composite infrared image of the center of our Milky Way Galaxy
Magnetic Field May Be Keeping Milky Way’s Black Hole Quiet

By Kassandra Bell and Joan Schmelz

Supermassive black holes exist at the center of most galaxies, and our Milky Way is no exception. But many other galaxies have highly active black holes, meaning a lot of material is falling into them, emitting high-energy radiation in this “feeding” process. The Milky Way’s central black hole, on the other hand, is relatively quiet. New observations from NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, are helping scientists understand the differences between active and quiet black holes.

Magnetic field streamlines over an image of the ring around the Milky Way's black hole