Milky Way structure and dynamics

Our Galaxy is a prime example of a barred galaxy with a box/peanut bulge. In the last years, we have used NIR star counts to determine the three-dimensional structure of the Galactic bulge and bar. We are using N-body and Made-to-measure particle methods to study the dynamics of the Milky Way bar and bulge, and to determine the distribution of stellar mass and dark matter. We are also investigating the nuclear star cluster around the central black hole in the Galaxy. The possibility to study these components "star-by-star" makes our Milky Way an essential laboratory for understanding the evolutionary history of similar galaxies. 

Main topics

Key publications

Wegg, C., Gerhard, O., Portail, M.,  2015,  MNRAS,  450,  4050,   
The structure of the Milky Way's bar outside the bulge. 2015MNRAS.450.4050W

Portail, M., Wegg, C., Gerhard, O.,  2015,  MNRAS,  450,  L66,   
Peanuts, brezels and bananas: food for thought on the orbital structure of the Galactic bulge. 2015MNRAS.450L..66P

Chatzopoulos, S., Fritz, T. K., Gerhard, O., Gillessen, S., Wegg, C., Genzel, R., et al.,  2015,  MNRAS,  447,  948,   
The old nuclear star cluster in the Milky Way: dynamics, mass, statistical parallax, and black hole mass. 2015MNRAS.447..948C

Wegg, C., Gerhard, O.,  2013,  MNRAS,  435,  1874,   
Mapping the three-dimensional density of the Galactic bulge with VVV red clump stars. 2013MNRAS.435.1874W

Martinez-Valpuesta, I., Gerhard, O.,  2011,  ApJ,  734,  L20,   
Unifying A Boxy Bulge and Planar Long Bar in the Milky Way. 2011ApJ...734L..20M

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