AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 181 Probing the Galactic Center
Poster, Thursday, 9:20am-4:00pm, January 12, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[181.06] Spitzer/IRAC Mid-Infrared Colors of the ISM in the Central 200 pc of the Galaxy

R. G. Arendt (SSAI/GSFC), S. Stolovy (Spitzer Science Center(SSC)), S. Ramirez (IPAC), C. Law (Northwestern Univ.), A. Cotera (SETI), J. Karr (SSC), F. Yusef-Zadeh (Northwestern Univ.), D. Gezari, H. Moseley (GSFC), K. Sellgren (OSU), H. A. Smith (CfA), R. Smith (GSFC)

Observations of the central ~200 pc of the Galaxy (|l| < 1\fdg5, |b| < 1\arcdeg) with the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) on the Spitzer Space Telescope reveal striking detail in the structure of the interstellar medium (ISM). Coverage at four mid-IR wavelengths (3.6, 4.5, 5.8, and 8 \micron) enables study of both the emission and absorption properties of the interstellar dust. In particular, the 8/5.8 \micron colors are remarkably uniform across the entire region and indicate that ISM emission at these wavelengths is dominated by the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) bands. The few regions that do show different emission colors seem to fall into several classes. All wavelengths show apparent evidence of extinction, but there is little reddening in any of the mid-IR colors.

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