Abstract

Rotation curves are the basic tool for deriving the distribution of mass in spiral galaxies. In this review, we describe various methods to measure rotation curves in the Milky Way and spiral galaxies. We then describe two major methods to calculate the mass distribution using the rotation curve. By the direct method, the mass is calculated from rotation velocities without employing mass models. By the decomposition method, the rotation curve is deconvolved into multiple mass components by model fitting assuming a black hole, bulge, exponential disk, and dark halo. The decomposition is useful for statistical correlation analyses among the dynamical parameters of the mass components. We also review recent observations and derived results.

You do not currently have access to this article.