Disk Mass Potential
The purpose of this project is to make direct measurements of
distances to and proper motions of disk stars.
We will combine these with the results from the study (determining our position and velocity
in the Galaxy), and will be able to measure:
of the Milky Way, which is the orbital
speed of stars versus distance from the Galactic Center. This
will tell us the underlying mass distribution in the inner
- The nature of large-scale asymmetries such as open
spiral arms or a "warp" in the Galactic disk (see
examples for other galaxies below). This will
provide insight into disk dynamics and the interaction
of disk with other Galactic components.
The spiral arms of galaxy M74
Warped spiral galaxy ESO510-13
- Kinematic properties of different age populations, which
will allow us to study the formation and evolution of the disk.