Scientific article
Open access

The Mass of the Milky Way and M31 using the Method of Least Action

Published inThe Astrophysical journal, vol. 775, no. 2, 102
Publication date2013

We constrain the most likely range of masses for the Milky Way (MW) and M31 using an application of the numerical action method (NAM) that optimizes the fit to observed parameters over a large ensemble of NAM-generated solutions. Our 95% confidence level mass ranges, 1.5-4.5 × 1012 M ☉ for MW and 1.5-5.5 × 1012 M ☉ for M31, are consistent with the upper range of estimates from other methods and suggests that a larger proportion of the total mass becomes detectable when the peculiar motions of many nearby satellites are taken into account in the dynamical analysis. We test the method against simulated Local Group catalogs extracted from the Millennium Run to confirm that mass predictions are consistent with actual galaxy halo masses.

  • Cosmology:theory
  • Galaxies:kinematics and dynamics
  • Local group
Citation (ISO format)
PHELPS, Steven, NUSSER, Adi, DESJACQUES, Vincent. The Mass of the Milky Way and M31 using the Method of Least Action. In: The Astrophysical journal, 2013, vol. 775, n° 2, p. 102. doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/775/2/102
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0004-637X

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