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The distribution of dark matter in the coma cluster
Merritt, David
AA(Toronto, University, Canada)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 313, Feb. 1, 1987, p. 121-135. (ApJ Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Astronomical Models, Dark Matter, Galactic Clusters, Mass Distribution, Jeans Theory, Mass To Light Ratios, Velocity Distribution, Virial Theorem
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The author examines the constraints that the observed set of galaxy positions and velocities places on the distribution of dark matter in the Coma cluster, under the assumption that the cluster is spherical and in equilibrium. It is found that the range of models consistent with the Coma velocity dispersion data is very great: it includes models in which the galaxy orbits are predominantly circular and the total mass is less than half the constant M/L value, and models in which the orbits are predominantly radial and the total mass is 3 or more times this value. One might hope to distinguish between these models by computing their predicted distributions of line-of-sight velocities and comparing them with the Coma velocity distribution. The results turn out to be inconclusive, primarily because the Coma velocity distribution is skew. Thus it is concluded that the kinematical evidence for a constant mass-to-light ratio is weak at best.

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