Title: Establishing the Galactic Center Distance
Speaker: Uri (Evgeny) Griv (Department of Physics, Ben-Gurion University, Israel)
Date: November 15 at 15:30
Location: R521, General Building II
Even now, over almost 100 yr after its first determination, the exact distance between the Sun and the center of the Milky Way is not certain. Any change in this distance has impact on all kinematic distances in the Galaxy and most estimates of the gravitational and luminous mass of the Galaxy and objects within the system. We apply a maximum likelihood statistical approach to obtain the parameters of the space distribution of metal-poor RR Lyrae stars of the halo and the bulge in the Galaxy. First, we obtain the basic parameters -- both the solar distance and a power-law index -- required to solve the problem. Second, we discuss the spatial distribution of RR Lyraes in the Galaxy and compare our results with metal-rich relatively young stars. The extent to which our results can have a bearing on observable spiral galaxies is also discussed.