Vol 12, No 4

Comparing the behavior of orbits in different 3D dynamical models for elliptical galaxies

Euaggelos E. Zotos


Abstract We study the behavior of orbits in two different galactic dynamical models, describing the motion in the central parts of a triaxial elliptical galaxy with a dense nucleus. Numerical experiments show that both models display regular motion together with extended chaotic regions. A detailed investigation of the properties of motion is made for the 2D and 3D Hamiltonian systems, using a number of different dynamical parameters, such as the Poincaré surface of a section, the maximal Lyapunov Characteristic Exponent, the S(c) spectrum, the S(w) spectrum and the P(f ) indicator. The numerical calculations suggest that the properties of motion in both potentials are very similar. Our results show that one may use different kinds of gravitational potentials in order to describe the motion in triaxial galaxies while obtaining quantitatively similar results.


Keywords galaxies: kinematics and dynamics— galaxies: elliptical

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