Puzzles of the Galactic Centre

September 5th to 7th 2022 -- Heidelberg, Germany

SFB 881 -- "The Milky Way System"

Organisers: Mattia Sormani, Ashley Barnes, Jonathan Henshaw, Francisco Nogueras-Lara, Maya Petkova

As the nearest environment for studying some of the most exotic phenomena in the Universe, the Galactic Centre is one of the most well-studied regions in astrophysics, and routinely the subject of ground-breaking discoveries and surprises. Recent and upcoming observations from ground, airborne and space-based telescopes, such as VLT, HST, JWST, SOFIA, ALMA, VLA and MeerKAT, as well as advances in theory and numerical simulations, have led to significant progress in our understanding of this complex region. Nevertheless, our picture is far from complete. There are many open questions that are currently highly debated in the field, including the inward transport of matter and the feeding of the central black hole, the physical processes that determine the star formation efficiency in the Central Molecular Zone, the formation of the Nuclear Bulge, the 3D geometry of this region, and the origin of the Galactic outflow associated with the Fermi Bubbles/x-ray chimneys and the associated non-thermal filaments.

This meeting will be an attempt to bring together experts in the study of the different aspects of the Galactic Centre (star formation, dynamics, stellar populations, energetic outflows) to identify the key puzzles pending in the field and to seek paths to solve them, both from a theoretical and observational point of view. Rather than a classical meeting format, we will ask all participants to lead a discussion session on an open question in their area of research. 

The focus will be on what is fascinating but not understood, why it is important, and on suggestions on what type of resources/tools/observations/theories are needed to drive the field forward.