Understanding the gas dynamics in the central 3 kpc of the Milky Way

Mattia Sormani (Heidelberg)

I will give an introduction to the gas dynamics in the central regions (R<3kpc) of the Milky Way, which is characterised by strong non-circular motions driven by the non-axisymmetric gravitational potential of the Galactic bar. After reviewing the basic theoretical tools, I will discuss several applications including (i) how to interpret the observed longitude-velocity maps of CO, HI and other tracers in the region | l | < 30 degrees to construct a coherent picture of the central regions; (ii) how this can be used to constrain the properties of the bar; (iii) how we can estimate the accretion rate onto the Central Molecular Zone (the star-forming nuclear ring at R~150pc). Finally, I will highlight some open questions.