Dark Matter in NGC-2903

The research project entitled "Dark Matter in NGC-2903" sought to determine the quantity and distribution of dark matter in the sprial galaxy NGC-2903. I reduced VLA observations of hydrogen in the galaxy to find the rotational velocity of the galaxy and used that to infer its mass. I subtracted the luminous mass, inferred from total optical emission, to yield the dark matter distribution, which turned out to be roughly 70%, concentrated in the outer regions of the galaxy.
Facts about NGC-2903

Mass: 3.5 x 1041 kg = 1.76 x 1011 Msun
Luminous mass: 1 x 1041 kg = 5.0 x 1010 Msun
Diameter: 1.33 x 1021 m = 44.3 kpc
Luminous Diameter: 0.416 x 1021 m = 13.9 kpc
Distance: 2.38 x 1023 m = 7.938 Mpc
Rate of Recession: 516 km/s = 1.86 x 106 km/h
Class:. Sc(s) I-II

More information:


Research Report

NGC 2903 Mass Curve

This research was conducted as part of my 10th grade high school science project, which was awarded second place at the Southwestern New Mexico Regional Science Fair and third place at the New Mexico State Science and Engineering Fair in 1998. Please note that because I was quite young at the time, there are are fair number of errors in the analysis and discussion.