David Merritt


Archived in: arXiv:astro-ph/9603160 v3 5 Jun 1996 AND Rutgers Astrophysics Preprint Series No. 190 The standard method of modelling axisymmetric stellar systems begins from the assumption that mass follows light. The gravitational potential is then derived from the luminosity distribution, and the unique two-integral distribution function f(E, L2z ) that generates the stellar density in this potential is found. It is shown that the gravitational potential can instead be generated directly from the velocity data in a two-integral galaxy, thus allowing one to drop the assumption that mass follows light. The two-dimensional rotational velocity field can also be recovered in a model-independent way. Regularized algorithms for carrying out the inversions are presented and tested by application to pseudo-data from a family of oblate models. (Refer to PDF file for exact formulas).

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This work was supported by NSF grant AST 90-16515 and NASA grant NAG 5-2803. Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

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Department, Program, or Center

School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)


RIT – Main Campus