Event Title

Using Globular Clusters as Tracers of Dark Matter in the Virgo Cluster Dwarf Elliptical Galaxies

Session Number

U03

Advisor(s)

Brooke Schmidt, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Location

A-135

Start Date

28-4-2016 10:40 AM

End Date

28-4-2016 11:05 AM

Abstract

Most galaxies in the universe contain large amounts of dark matter. However, the presence of dark matter in dwarf elliptical galaxies has not been thoroughly investigated. This investigation took data from four different galaxies in the Virgo Cluster to search for the presence of dark matter by comparing the observed orbital velocities of approximately 150 globular clusters within the four galaxies to the calculated escape velocities. Using information such as the luminosities, radial velocities, and inclination/declination angles, the distances of the globular clusters to the galaxies were calculated using mathematical software and formulas from previously conducted research. Differences between the calculated and actual escape velocities would suggest a discrepancy in our estimation of the mass of the galaxies and this could point to the presence of dark matter. Additionally, by using the calculated escape velocity and comparing it to the observed orbital velocity of the cluster we could profile the distribution of the dark matter at different radii of the galaxy. The findings of this investigation could support previous research describing the existence of small amounts of dark matter in the outer regions of dwarf elliptical galaxies. The dark matter content found would help us gain an understanding of the formation of these galaxies. The details of the results will be discussed during the presentation.


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Apr 28th, 10:40 AM Apr 28th, 11:05 AM

Using Globular Clusters as Tracers of Dark Matter in the Virgo Cluster Dwarf Elliptical Galaxies

A-135

Most galaxies in the universe contain large amounts of dark matter. However, the presence of dark matter in dwarf elliptical galaxies has not been thoroughly investigated. This investigation took data from four different galaxies in the Virgo Cluster to search for the presence of dark matter by comparing the observed orbital velocities of approximately 150 globular clusters within the four galaxies to the calculated escape velocities. Using information such as the luminosities, radial velocities, and inclination/declination angles, the distances of the globular clusters to the galaxies were calculated using mathematical software and formulas from previously conducted research. Differences between the calculated and actual escape velocities would suggest a discrepancy in our estimation of the mass of the galaxies and this could point to the presence of dark matter. Additionally, by using the calculated escape velocity and comparing it to the observed orbital velocity of the cluster we could profile the distribution of the dark matter at different radii of the galaxy. The findings of this investigation could support previous research describing the existence of small amounts of dark matter in the outer regions of dwarf elliptical galaxies. The dark matter content found would help us gain an understanding of the formation of these galaxies. The details of the results will be discussed during the presentation.