Mass distribution at the galactic centre


In the framework of this PhD thesis, the study of the distribution of an extended mass close to the super-massive black hole (SMBH) at the centre of our Galaxy is addressed using observational data and theoretical modelling. The main emphasize is on establishing a distinction between the fraction of dark mass present in the form of a black hole and that in an extended form. Despite the significant observational and theoretical progress in the understanding of SMBHs in the last ten years, the formation of SMBHs and the interplay with their host galaxy are still poorly understood. The work presented here extends our understanding of the dynamics in the vicinity of the SMBH. Already in 1974, it was proposed that the radio source SgrA* could be a SMBH. With observations during the following years, it became more clear that the centre of our Galaxy hides an amount of dark mass close to 3 million solar masses. However, the strongest evidence for the existence of a SMBH, was only after it became possible to trace for the first time stellar orbits of fast moving stars, the so-called S-stars, around SgrA*. This was achievable using the SHARP near-infrared speckle camera at la Silla in Chile as well as the near-infrared camera NAOS/CONICA at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Paranal in Chile.
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