Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 37–47 | Cite as

Hydrodynamic equations of differentially rotating stellar systems and the velocity ellipsoid

  • Shoji Kato


Anisotropic hydrodynamic equations for differentially rotating collisionless stellar systems are derived. These equations can describe the evolution of the systems in a time span longer than their rotation periods.

As a by-product of derivation of hydrodynamic equations, the well-known relation that the ratio of the principal axes of the velocity ellipse in a differentially rotating stellar disk is [B/(B-A)]1/2 is re-found if the system is in a purely circular rotation, whereA andB are the Oort's constants. In addition, we find a systematic mean motion superposed on a purely circular differential rotation makes the directions of axes of the velocity ellipse deviate from the radial and the transverse direction. The observed deviation of directions of axes in our neighbourhood in the Galaxy can be explained if in the mean motion superposed on a purely circular differential rotatin the ‘gas’ of stars near us is compressed in the radial direction or rarefied in the transverse directions, with irregularities of the order of 5 km/sec in amplitude of velocity and 1 kpc in size. These magnitudes of irregularities agree with those actually observed or with those anticipated from other theoretical considerations.


Time Span Radial Direction Principal Axis Transverse Direction Theoretical Consideration 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shoji Kato
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AstronomyUniversity of TokyoJapan

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