Reference Work Entry

Planets, Stars and Stellar Systems

pp 1039-1089

Dark Matter in the Galactic Dwarf Spheroidal Satellites

  • Matthew WalkerAffiliated withHarvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics


The Milky Way’s dwarf spheroidal satellites include the nearest, smallest, and least luminous galaxies known. They also exhibit the largest discrepancies between dynamical and luminous masses. This article reviews the development of empirical constraints on the structure and kinematics of dSph stellar populations and discusses how this phenomenology translates into constraints on the amount and distribution of dark matter within dSphs. Some implications for cosmology and the particle nature of dark matter are discussed and some avenues for future study are identified.