The stellar cusp around the Milky Way's central black hole

Schodel, R.; Gallego Cano, E.; Nogueras Lara, F.; Dong, H.; Gallego Calvente, T.

March, 2017

The existence of stellar cusps in dense clusters around massive black holes is a fundamental, decades-old prediction of theoretical stellar dynamics. Yet, observational evidence has been elusive so far. With a new, improved analysis of high-angular resolution images of the central parsecs of the Galactic Center, we are finally able to provide the first solid evidence for the existence of a stellar cusp around the Milky Way's massive black hole. The existence of stellar cusps is not only of theoretical importance, but has a significant impact on predicted event rates of phenomena like tidal disruptions of stars and extreme mass ratio inspiral events, which are expected to be strong sources of gravitational wave emission.