Postcards from the centre of our Galaxy

The weather on Mauna Kea has been unseasonably very poor this past month, with even a snow storm in the month of May! So “our big blue box” hasn’t had a lot of time on the sky over the past few weeks. But in mid-April, we were able to point the JCMT and SCUBA-2 towards the centre of our Galaxy and spend a couple of hours, in average weather conditions, making these large scale, 1 degree by 1 degree maps (for reference, the Moon is about half a degree on the sky). The 850µm image is above, and the 450µm image below.

There are many bright sources towards the centre of our Galaxy, and the contrast range of the main image in these postcards doesn’t reveal the detailed diffuse and extended structure that has been detected. The small cut-outs, especially in the 850µm image above, clearly show how our map making techniques are improving with respect to detecting and preserving large scale structure in the final maps. There is still room for improvement, and we will be working to achieve those over the next few weeks.


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