- [*] The Shapes of Galaxies and Their Halos as Traced by Stars:
The Milky Way Dark Halo and The LMC Disk
- van der Marel R.P.
- in `The Shapes of Galaxies and their Halos',
Natarajan P., ed., World Scientific, 202-209, 2002
- © 2002. World Scientific. All Rights Reserved.
Stars and their kinematics provide one of the tools available for
studies of the shapes of galaxies and their halos. In this review I
focus on two specific applications: the shape of the Milky Way dark
halo and the shape of the LMC disk. The former is constrained by a
variety of observations, but an accurate determination of the axial
ratio q_DH remains elusive. A very flattened Milky Way dark halo with
q_DH < 0.4 is ruled out, and values q_DH > 0.7 appear most consistent
with the data. Near-IR surveys have revealed that the LMC disk is not
approximately circular, as long believed, but instead has an axial
ratio of 0.7 in the disk plane. The elongation is perpendicular to the
Magellanic Stream, indicating that it is most likely due to the tidal
force of the Milky Way. Equilibrium dynamical modeling of galaxies is
important for many applications. At the same time, detailed studies of
tidal effects and tidal streams have the potential to improve our
understanding of both the Milky Way dark halo and the structure of
satellite galaxies such as the LMC.
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Last modified June 10, 2002.
Roeland van der Marel,