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Milky Way Density Profile

  1. Sep 29, 2014 #1
    I'm trying to put together a realistic simulation of the Milky Way. Can anyone direct me to a database or something I can scrape in order to get the density profile?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2014 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    That will be difficult, as we don't see the galaxy very well from the inside. It was only about a decade ago where we were pretty sure we live in a barred spiral.
  4. Sep 29, 2014 #3


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    As Vanadium indicated, a detailed model would be difficult based on what we cannot 'see', as well as the enormity of the galaxy ~ 3(+/-1) E11 stars.

    However, there are attempts to understand the stellar distribution.

    The Milky Way Tomography with SDSS. I. Stellar Number Density Distribution

    Stellar Populations and the Formation of the Milky Way

    The Milky Way

    One also needs are reasonable estimate of the rotation curve, or stellar velocity distribution
  5. Oct 1, 2014 #4


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    The Milky Way also suffers from the central cusp/core density problem.
  6. Oct 1, 2014 #5
    Thank you. That was very useful. Particularly the third link labeled "The Milky Way". A logarithmic density profile was what I needed.

    The only problem is that some of the information, particularly about velocities, is a little dated. I found this velocity profile from 1985:


    Does anyone know where I can find a more updated version. We must have better data about the velocities in our own galaxy in the last 29 years.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014
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