Mass Density Distributions in Spiral Galaxies


The purpose of this paper is to show, on the basis of Newtonian mechanics (in Euclidean space), that the core disks of spiral galaxies (the central disks in galactic cores that are perpendicular to the axes of rotation) rotate in the same fashion as a phonograph turntable, if the mass densities in the cores of such galaxies remain uniform. On the basis of the hypothesis of uniform mass density in the core, it is then shown that the density of mass in the shell (the entire domain outside of the core) must remain inversely proportional to the square of radial distance from the axis of rotation and that the angular velocity in the shell annulus (annulus in the shell that contains the spiral forms) is inversely proportional to radial distance, or that the circumferential velocity on the shell disk is independent of radial distance from the core axis. The equation of motion for the shell disk is then obtained and it is concluded that the spiral shaped lanes are not trajectories. But it is shown that any bar-shaped feature crossing the shell annulus and core disk, collinear with the core centre, will become distorted, due to the above angular velocity distribution in the shell disk, assuming the form of two, symmetrically disposed, Archimedean spirals, while the portion of the bar inside the core remains undistorted and merely rotates.

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Bish, R. (2014) Mass Density Distributions in Spiral Galaxies. World Journal of Mechanics, 4, 137-152. doi: 10.4236/wjm.2014.45016.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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