Chris Flynn : Tuorla Observatory

  Astro I
  Astro II


FFYS4327 Galactic Dynamics

March-April 2010

Week 1

General background

The steps from the Big Bang to the formation of galaxies. Galaxy types and morphologies.

Introduction to the Milky Way

The Milky Way seen at many wavelengths, its structure and components. Review of stellar properties, mass, temperature, luminosity, spectral type. Typical spectra and colours.

Week 2

Module 2

Properties of stars and stellar distances. "Population types" I and II and stellar ages. The Solar Neighbourhood. Space velocity and orbits of stars. Open and globular clusters. Age of the Disk. Age-metallicity and age-velocity relations. Dark Matter in brief.

Module 3

Introduction to gravitational potentials. Rotation speed of stellar systems.

Module 4

Potential-Density pairs. Plummer, Hernquist and Jaffe potentials. Uniform sphere and isothermal sphere. Flattened potentials : the Miyamoto and Nagai potential. A model for our own galaxy.


Week 3

Module 5

Orbits in a potential. Conservation laws. Bound and unbound orbits. Spherical harmonic oscillator and the Kepler potential.

Module 6

Numerical integration of orbits. Equations of motion. Gnuplot and BASIC programs.

Week 4

Module 7

Kinematics and space distribution of disk stars. Galactic coordinates. Space distribution. The solar motion. Disk star orbits. Young disk, old disk. Moving groups and stellar streams.

Week 5

Module 8

The dynamics of stellar systems. Boltzmann Equation. Vertical disk structure. Isothermal disk. The Jeans Equation.

Module 9

Amount of matter in the disk. Solar Oscillation period. Comets, the orbit of the Sun and the mass extinction of species. Disk dynamics and spiral structure. Grand design spirals. Flocculant structure. Irregular or peculiar spirals.

Week 6

Module 10

GAIA: The Galactic census project...

Module 11

Kinematics of the Galactic halo: a model of the motions of stars in the Milky Way halo, determined from blue horizontal branch stars.

Module 12

Dark Matter. The Milky Way. Rotation curves of galaxies. Hot gas in clusters of Galaxies. Dark matter in the early Universe. Structure formation. Timing the local group. Gravitational lenses: In clusters. Microlensing. Monitoring the MACHOS. Blame it on the little guys!