Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
Galactic escape speeds in mirror and cold dark matter models
Mathematical Sciences Institute, The Australian National University, Acton, ACT, 0200, Australia
* e-mail: Lilia.Ferrario@anu.edu.au
Revised: 4 December 2012
Published online: 15 January 2013
The mirror dark matter (MDM) model of Berezhiani et al. has been shown to reproduce observed galactic rotational curves for a variety of spiral galaxies, and has been presented as an alternative to cold dark matter (CDM) models. We investigate possible additional tests involving the properties of stellar orbits, which may be used to discriminate between the two models. We demonstrate that in MDM and CDM models fitted equally well to a galactic rotational curve, one generally expects predictable differences in escape speeds from the disc.
The recent radial velocity (RAVE) survey of the Milky Way has pinned down the escape speed from the solar neighbourhood to , placing an additional constraint on dark matter models. We have constructed an MDM model for the Milky Way based on its rotational curve, and find an escape speed that is just consistent with the observed value given the current errors, which lends credence to the viability of MDM models. The Gaia-ESO spectroscopic survey is expected to lead to an even more precise estimate of the escape speed that will further constrain dark matter models. However, the largest differences in stellar escape speeds between both models are predicted for dark matter-dominated dwarf galaxies such as DDO 154, and kinematical studies of such galaxies could prove key in establishing, or abolishing, the validity of the MDM model.
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and Società Italiana di Fisica, 2013