First Adaptive Optics Observations of the Galactic Center with NAOS/CONICA

Y. Clénet1, F. Lacombe1, E. Gendron1, D. Rouan1

1 Observatoire de Paris, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92190 Meudon, France

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In the near-infrared, recent works on the Galactic Center region were oriented towards three main topics : the search for the infrared counterpart of the Sgr A* radio source, the study of the stellar population to relate the star formation and understand the close environment of the black hole, the description of the dynamical effects of the central compact source upon the nearest stars. The near-infrared wavelength domain is well-adapted for these goals, mainly because of the much lowest interstellar absorption, but high spatial resolution is mandatory because of the high stellar density of the region.

The NAOS adaptive optics sytem and its near-infrared camera CONICA have been installed few months ago at the Nasmyth focus of the VLT UT4 (ESO) and can deliver images with a spatial resolution below 0.1 arcsec. The first observations of the Galactic Center region have been performed during commissioning nights. During this workshop, I will present preliminary results obtained from these observations.