Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad Gobierno de Canarias Universidad de La Laguna CSIC Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa

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Dark Matter, Magnetic Fields, and the Rotation Curve of the Milky Way.

Author/s: Ruiz-Granados, B.; Battaner, E.; Calvo, J.; Florido, E.; Rubiño-Martín, J. A.

Reference: (2012), The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Volume 755, Issue 2, article id. L23 | Link

Out best-fit model for the rotation curve of the Milky Way. Asterisks represent the natural weighted radial bins derived from observational data by Sofue et al. (<a id=2009) with their associated error bars. The different lines represent the contribution of the different physical components: bulge, stars, gas, dark matter (=ISO) and the Galactic magnetic contribution (=MAG). A good description of the rotation curve in the outer parts of the Galaxy is only achieved when taking into account a magnetic field contribution." />
Out best-fit model for the rotation curve of the Milky Way. Asterisks represent the natural weighted radial bins derived from observational data by Sofue et al. (2009) with their associated error bars. The different lines represent the contribution of the different physical components: bulge, stars, gas, dark matter (=ISO) and the Galactic magnetic contribution (=MAG). A good description of the rotation curve in the outer parts of the Galaxy is only achieved when taking into account a magnetic field contribution.

The study of the disk rotation curve of our Galaxy at large distances provides an interesting scenario for us to test whether magnetic fields should be considered as a non-negligible dynamical ingredient. By assuming a bulge, an exponential disk for the stellar and gaseous distributions, and a dark halo and disk magnetic fields, we fit the rotation velocity of the Milky Way. In general, when the magnetic contribution is added to the dynamics, a better description of the rotation curve is obtained. Our main conclusion is that magnetic fields should be taken into account for the Milky Way dynamics. Azimuthal magnetic field strengths of B phi ~ 2 μG at distances of ~2 R0(i.e. 16 kpc) are able to explain the rise-up for the rotation curve in the outer disk.

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