Galactic masers: kinematics, spiral structure and the disk dynamic state [GA]

We investigate the kinematics of 131 Milky-Way masers associated with star-forming regions and with trigonometric parallaxes measured by Very Large Baseline Radio Interferometry. We developed a new algorithm for computing the structural and kinematic parameters of the Galactic disk, which implements the currently most comprehensive version of the statistical-parallax technique. To take into account the variation of the form and size of the ellipsoid of residual velocities as a function of Galactocentric distance, we assume that radial velocity dispersion is related to disk surface density and apply the Jeans hydrodynamic equations. We compute the Galactic rotation curve over the Galactocentric distance interval from 3 to 14 kpc and find the local circular rotation velocity to be 243 +/- 10 km/s, and we also determine a full set of kinematical parameters, including the parameters of the four-armed spiral pattern with the pitch angle i ~ -10.45 +/- 0.30 deg. The galactocentric distance is found to be R0 = 8.40 +/- 0.12 kpc. We use two methods – global and local – to estimate the exponential disk scale and we find HD ~ 2.70 +/- 0.32 kpc. The excellent agreement between the two estimates confirms the idea that the Galactic disk is governed by a single equation of state. Assuming marginal stability of the disk, we found that its local surface density is greater then 24 +/- 3 solar masses at sq. pc.

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A. Rastorguev, M. Zabolotskikh, A. Dambis, et. al.
Thu, 31 Mar 16

Comments: 13 pages, 7 figures, 2 tables