The Structure of Cold Dark Matter Halos

  • Julio F. Navarro
Conference paper
Part of the International Astronomical Union / Union Astronomique Internationale book series (IAUS, volume 171)


High resolution N-body simulations show that the density profiles of dark matter halos formed in the standard CDM cosmogony can be fit accurately by scaling a simple “universal” profile. Regardless of their mass, halos are nearly isothermal over a large range in radius, but significantly shallower than r -2 near the center and steeper than r -2 in the outer regions. The characteristic overdensity of a halo correlates strongly with halo mass in a manner consistent with the mass dependence of the epoch of halo formation. Matching the shape of the rotation curves of disk galaxies with this halo structure requires (i) disk mass-to-light ratios to increase systematically with luminosity, (ii) halo circular velocities to be systematically lower than the disk rotation speed, and (iii) that the masses of halos surrounding bright galaxies depend only weakly on galaxy luminosity. This offers an attractive explanation for the puzzling lack of correlation between luminosity and dynamics in observed samples of binary galaxies and of satellite companions of bright spiral galaxies, suggesting that the structure of dark matter halos surrounding bright spirals is similar to that of cold dark matter halos.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julio F. Navarro
    • 1
  1. 1.Steward ObservatoryUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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