MIRAC2 Image of a 2 pc region near the Galactic Center at 11.7 microns

This is a single 10 second exposure taken at the NASA IRTF on August 5, 1994, displayed as a raw image with no pixel masking or flat fielding. The only processing is the subtraction of an off-source sky image taken by beam switching with the telescope. The pixel size is 0.4 arcsec (0.017 pc at a distance of 8500 pc) and the display box is 50 arcsec on a side.

The image is clipped at 45% of the strongest source, IRS1, in order to show low level flux. The position of SgrA* is just to the right of this source. The image shows clearly the well-known structure also visible in radio images of the North, East, and West arms which is attributed to a mini-spiral. It also shows a number of point sources and extended structures not previously observed in the mid-infrared. The noise level is approximately 54 mJy/arcsec. The four faint sources to the left of the upper part of the north arm are about 0.5 Jy each.

MIRAC2 was built and is operated by the University of Arizona and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. The camera utilizes a Rockwell HF-16 128x128 hybrid Si:As BIB array.

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