AAS 206th Meeting, 29 May - 2 June 2005
Session 14 Astrophysics with Optical Interferometry
Poster, Monday, 9:20am-6:30pm, Tuesday, 10:00am-7:00pm, May 30, 2005, Ballroom A

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[14.12] Examining the Nature of Dark Matter in Dwarf Galaxies with SIM PlanetQuest

C. J. Grillmair (Caltech), K. C. Freeman (Mount Stromlo Observatory), K. Gebhardt (University of Texas), G. Gilmore (Institute of Astronomy), E. Grebel (University of Basil), J. Kormendy (University of Texas), D. Lin (Lick Observatory), M. Mateo (University of Michigan), J. Mould (NOAO), C. Pryor (Rutgers University), M. Shetrone (University of Texas), S. Sigurdsson (Penn. State), R. Wyse (Johns Hopkins)

We describe a proposed SIM PlanetQuest project to examine the nature of the dark matter which dominates several dwarf spherioidal galaxies in the Local Group. By measuring a total of five phase space coordinates for ~100 stars per galaxy we can unambiguously isolate the effects of triaxiality and orbital anisotropy in these relatively simple systems and thereby characterize the underlying distribution (and thus temperature) of the dark matter. The project relies on the measurement of highly accurate proper motions (2-5 microarcseconds per year) for relatively faint stars ( V \approx 19), a requirement which is uniquely satisfied by SIM PlanetQuest and which cannot be met by any other mission currently on the horizon.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #2
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.