Rotation curve of the Milky Way from Classical Cepheids

Flat rotation curves of spiral galaxies are considered as an evidence for dark matter, but the rotation curve of the Milky Way is difficult to measure. Various objects were used to track the rotation curve in the outer parts of the Galaxy, but most studies rely on incomplete kinematical information and inaccurate distances. Here, we use a sample of 773 Classical Cepheids with precise distances based on mid-infrared period-luminosity relations coupled with proper motions and radial velocities from Gaia to construct the accurate rotation curve of the Milky Way up to the distance of 20 kpc from the Galactic center. We use a simple model of Galactic rotation to measure the rotation speed of the Sun Θ0=233.6±2.8 km/s, assuming a prior on the distance to the Galactic center R0=8.122±0.031 kpc from the Gravity Collaboration. The rotation curve at Galactocentric distances 4<R<20 kpc is nearly flat with a small gradient of -1.34±0.21 km/s/kpc. This is the most accurate Galactic rotation curve at distances R>12 kpc constructed so far.

Rotation curve of the Milky Way based on Classical Cepheids

The underlying data are available to the astronomical community from the OGLE Internet Archive.

Please cite the following paper when using the data or referring to these OGLE results: Mroz et al. 2018, arXiv:1810.02131.

Any comments about the data and the form of their presentation are welcome. Send your messages to this adress.


Back to top of page