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- TL;DR Summary
- Check out galaxiesbook.org.

Since no one seems to have mentioned this yet...

For anyone interested in graduate-level study galactic dynamics, Jo Bovy (Assoc Prof in the Astrophysics Dept at U. Toronto) is in the process of constructing an interactive textbook on the subject, which you can check out at galaxiesbook.org. (Parts under still under construction.)

Motivation for this book comes partially from the overwhelmingly intimidating nature of the 2 current "bibles" on the subject:

“Galactic Dynamics” by Binney & Tremaine 2008; and

"Galactic Astronomy" by Binney & Merrifield (1998).

These are more like reference books than textbooks. Bovy's new book is intended to be more genuinely a textbook for prospective graduate students. He's developed a "

Here is a lengthier youtube review by someone studying in the field.

I found this book useful when I was wondering about how much the change from spherical-to-disk mass distributions affects galactic rotation curves. The book covers many cases in pleasing detail (i.e., it goes into lots of stuff with Bessel functions, elliptic integrals, etc) which are needed to properly solve these cases (rather than just "doodling around" like someone else said here recently). [Short answer: the "Mestel disk" with a 1/R mass distribution gives a flat rotation curve, but this seems not to be a realistic mass distribution even in disk galaxies.]

For anyone interested in graduate-level study galactic dynamics, Jo Bovy (Assoc Prof in the Astrophysics Dept at U. Toronto) is in the process of constructing an interactive textbook on the subject, which you can check out at galaxiesbook.org. (Parts under still under construction.)

Motivation for this book comes partially from the overwhelmingly intimidating nature of the 2 current "bibles" on the subject:

“Galactic Dynamics” by Binney & Tremaine 2008; and

"Galactic Astronomy" by Binney & Merrifield (1998).

These are more like reference books than textbooks. Bovy's new book is intended to be more genuinely a textbook for prospective graduate students. He's developed a "

**galpy**" python package for doing lots of associated computations. The book contains many python code fragments within which you can run interactively in your browser if you wish. (I hope this paradigm becomes the future of textbooks.)Here is a lengthier youtube review by someone studying in the field.

I found this book useful when I was wondering about how much the change from spherical-to-disk mass distributions affects galactic rotation curves. The book covers many cases in pleasing detail (i.e., it goes into lots of stuff with Bessel functions, elliptic integrals, etc) which are needed to properly solve these cases (rather than just "doodling around" like someone else said here recently). [Short answer: the "Mestel disk" with a 1/R mass distribution gives a flat rotation curve, but this seems not to be a realistic mass distribution even in disk galaxies.]