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Colloquium by James Binney (University of Oxford)

Weighing our Dark Halo


A dark halo is supposed to contain ~95% of the mass of our Galaxy. Since the dark halo contributes so largely to the Galaxy's gravitational field and it's impossible to understand the distribution and velocities of stars without knowledge of the Galactic gravitational field, mapping the dark halo is a central task for a Galaxy modeller. I'll explain how data from the SDSS and RAVE surveys has been used to constrain tightly the distribution of dark and stellar mass interior to the Sun's orbit, and argue that scattering of dark-matter particles by baryons has significantly modified the dark-matter distribution in the inner kpc. This work relies heavily on new methods in galaxy dynamics which promise also to revolutionise studies of external galaxies.

Time: Apr. 05, 2017, 14:30 pm

Venue: A601, NAOC