Journal Article

Mass estimators in the <i>Gaia</i> era

J. An, N. W. Evans and A. J. Deason

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 420, issue 3, pages 2562-2568
Published in print March 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online February 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Mass estimators in the Gaia era

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


Show Summary Details


Forthcoming astrometric missions such as the Gaia satellite will bring to the fore the problem of estimating the enclosed mass from a set of positions, radial velocities and proper motions of tracer stars. Here, we show how to construct the tracer mass estimator when the proper-motion data are available in addition to the usual line-of-sight velocity data. Notably, the mass estimators do not require any assumption on the anisotropy, as it is naturally incorporated through the different components of proper motions. In addition, the separate treatment of the proper motions and the line-of-sight velocities is desirable because they are observationally independent and thus the propagation of the combined uncertainties is rather straightforward. The extension to projected data is also sketched, together with a possible application of measuring the masses of Galactic globular clusters.

Keywords: galaxies: fundamental parameters; galaxies: general; galaxies: haloes; galaxies: kinematics and dynamics; dark matter

Journal Article.  5131 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.