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Mass Profile in Elliptical Galaxies

  1. Oct 6, 2014 #1
    We know a fair amount about Spiral Galaxies because we can basically see their guts. Elliptical Galaxies are obscured by the outer shell. Can anyone direct me to some non-theoretical data on the mass (density) profile of Elliptical galaxies (i.e. the amount of mass (or density) at a given radius, R, from the center)?
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 6, 2014 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Ellipticals are not necessarily (or usually) spherical, so R is not a very good variable to discuss their shapes. Neither, really is r, because it depends on z. Also, we don't have a really good 3-d picture of these galaxies because of the unknown viewing angle. There are empirical fits to luminosities like de Vaucouleurs' law.
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