ACES – The ALMA Central Molecular Zone Exploration Survey
27/01/2022 @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CET
The extreme environment and relative proximity to Earth make the centre of our Galaxy a unique astrophysical laboratory. The gas properties, radiation field, cosmic ray ionisation rate, etc., are more similar to those in the centre of other galaxies, starbursts and high-z galaxies than the Solar neighbourhood. It is the only extreme environment in which it is possible to resolve down to size scales of individual forming stars and link the small-scale physics of star formation and feedback with the galactic-scale processes that together drive the evolution of galaxies.
In this talk, Prof. Longmore will present a recently accepted Large Program on ALMA called ACES (The ALMA Central Molecular Zone Exploration Survey) which is using ALMA’s revolutionary combination of sensitivity, resolution and image fidelity to exploit this laboratory of extreme physics. ACES is deriving the gas properties from cloud scales down to the size scale of individual forming stars across the inner 100pc of the Galaxy. Prof. Longmore will explain how they intend to combine this data with a suite of new numerical simulations to address key open questions in star formation and galaxy formation/evolution, providing a new benchmark for understanding how the mass flows and energy cycles shape the centres of galaxies, regulate star formation and control the activity of the central supermassive black holes. He will finish by exploring some of the natural synergies of ACES with the CTAO science and explain how anyone interested in Galactic Centre science can get involved in ACES.