Scientific Motivation

Large scale mapping: We will investigate the physical conditions and chemistry of the large scale Galactic Center cloud systems, including the full extent of the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ), over a range of several square degrees through mapping observations of the bright ISM cooling lines of CO, CI, CII, NII, and OI. These observations will be the basis for modelling of the emission (excitation, PDR chemistry, large scale UV impact, XDRs, high energy particles and secondaries, shocks).

Central Molecular Zone: We plan to explore the chemical peculiarity and richness of the clouds in the Central Molecular Zone with extensive mapping in a selected set of spectral lines from a variety of molecules that are present with large spatial extent, such as formaldehyde, ammonia, and one of the most widespread molecules, methanol.

Detailed investigation of special regions: On smaller scales, we will address the very special conditions in the mini-starburst region Sgr B2 (together with projects A6 and B3) and the nuclear disk (CND) around the central supermassive black hole Sgr A*. As diagnostics, we will conduct observations of bright ISM cooling lines and multi-species/multi-transition studies from various molecules.

These data together with our modelling will provide a comprehensive view of the conditions and processes in these regions whose physics and chemistry are intrinsically connected. In particular, we shall study the impact and feedback of local star formation and shall examine the influence of processes involving very high energies.