AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 21. Dwarf Galaxies
Display, Monday, January 7, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[21.04] Dynamic Modeling of Ursa Minor

B.M. Likins, K.V. Johnston (Wesleyan University)

We use dynamical simulations to build theoretical models of the dwarf spheroidal galaxy Ursa Minor as it orbits about the Milky Way. These simulations are constrained by observations of giant stars compiled by astronomers at the University of Virginia. We use N-body codes for self-gravitating particles in order to test the effects of varying multiple free parameters of our experiments such as orbital paths, net rotation, and dark versus light matter distribution. In anticipation of upcoming spectroscopic observations of stars in the outskirts of Ursa Minor by our collaborators, we also examine the velocity distribution throughout our models. We intend to ultimately confirm or reject our current ideas on Ursa Minor's dark matter content since we anticipate models with or without dark matter will have different velocity distribution characteristics. Successful modeling of this dSph may give insight into dark matter's morphological signature in galaxies, and would provide powerful motivation for studying other satellites of the Milky Way.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: blake@astro.wesleyan.edu

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