Monitor the variability

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Goal 6: To monitor the variability around the Galactic Center

An area of 1.5 sq deg around the Galactic Center including the 180 pc-Nuclear Ring [1] will be the most frequently monitored field, for a total of 200 epochs spanning 5 years. Expected variability due to high magnification microlensing, or flares due to black hole accretion, can arise [2]. The BH flares easily reach K ~ 16 mag, with a typical duration of 10-30 min. The expected flare rate is 2-6 per day [3], in addition to a longer timescale variation predicted by the accretion simulations[4]. We also expect some Wolf Rayet variability in the population of massive stars and clusters in this region, and will search for eclipsing WR stars.


  1. Messineo et al. 2002, A&A, 393, 115
  2. e.g. Chaname et al. 2001, ApJ, 563, 793
  3. Genzel et al. 2003, Nature, 425, 934; Eisenhauer et al. 2005, ApJ, 628, 246
  4. Cuadra et al. 2006, MNRAS, in press
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