AffiliationUniv Arizona, Steward Observ
KeywordsGalaxy: fundamental parameters
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherOXFORD UNIV PRESS
CitationA dynamics-free lower bound on the mass of our Galaxy 2017, 465 (3):3724 Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Rights© 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
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AbstractWe use a sample of Milky Way (MW) analogues for which we have stellar and disc gas mass measurements, published measurements of halo gas masses of the MW and of similar galaxies, and the well-established value of the cosmological baryon fraction to place a lower bound on the mass of the Galaxy of 7.7 x 10(11) M-circle dot and estimate that the mass is likely to be >= 1.2 x 10(12) M-circle dot. Although most dynamical analyses yield measurements consistent with these results, several recent studies have advocated for a total mass well below 10(12) M-circle dot. We reject such low-mass estimates because they imply a Galactic baryon matter fraction significantly above the universal value. Convergence between dynamical mass estimates and those based on the baryonic mass is an important milestone in our understanding of galaxies.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNSF [AST-1311326]; University of Arizona