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R.M. Salow, T.S. Statler (Ohio U.)
We have constructed approximate self-consistent models of eccentric stellar disks to investigate the double nucleus of M31. Our models include both a self-gravitating disk and a central black hole. In essence, the models involve a self-consistent iteration scheme in which a disk is populated by a sequence of finite-dispersion orbits whose parents are numerically integrated closed periodic orbits. Once an initial model is assumed, a set of closed orbits is found in the potential of the disk/black hole system, which is then used to construct a disk using an approximate distribution function; the cycle continues until an equilibrium configuration is reached. Results show that there exist combinations of disk precession speed, disk mass, and orbital dispersion which allow approximate self-consistent, self-gravitating disks to be found. Preliminary analysis shows that these disks have properties that give photometric and kinematic observables that closely resemble those of M31. Comparisons between modeled and observed rotation and dispersion profiles will be discussed, with particular emphasis on determining whether or not kinematic signatures, such as asymmetries in the rotation and dispersion profiles, can be used to detect self-gravity effects in the nucleus of M31.