Rotation Curve of the Milky Way Galaxy

        By: Tia Camarillo

        Supervisor:  Bharat Ratra

Kansas State University Physics Department  REU Program


Below, I describe the Project Overview, my Research Description, Another Description, my Research Progress, and will eventually post my Final Presentation and Final Report.  I post my homework assignments from our weekly REU scientific Ethics class, taught by Prof. Bruce Glymour, and my reaction to Prof. Larry Weaver's Lectures.   Scroll all the way down to learn more About Me.  Finally, I've included some Useful Links.  Here’s a page of my photos.  See my new bookmark. 

Note to future REU students; 


Research Description: 

The rotation curve of a galaxy can yield a lot of understanding on it's properties (reference: GALKIN PDF), notably the density and distribution of luminous and dark matter. Data on our own galaxy, the Milky Way, has long existed but has been scattered throughout publications. Until recently, analyses have not been all-inclusive regarding rotation curve measurements. Miguel Pato and Fabio Iocco created a comprehensive compilation of rotation curve data and a tool, named "galkin,' that allows one to access and analyze the measurements individually by tracer type or alltogether. This new tool is significant to the study of our galactic mass distribution and, since it is open source code, extremely convenient to extracting values on which to perform qualitative data analysis.

I worked with applying various statistical techniques (mainly weighted means and median statistics) to this new compilation of Milky Way rotation curve measurements. Raw data is often sliced into sections, or bins, and the data specific to each individual bin can be analyzed to your choosing. The results from each bin are brought together to the new analyzed, binned data. My objective was to compare the original data to the results from multiple analyzed, binned data sets in search of new physical (meaningful) conclusions about constraints on luminous and dark matter in the galactic mass budget.

Another Description:

Please make this accessible to a prospective REU student, and to a graduate student in your area of research.  Length and level of detail are largely up to you.  Check with your advisor before posting any new data or giving away any patentable intellectual property.   This can be a detailed description of your approach to your research, in step-by-step style, or a final report type review of your activities and findings.

Research Progress: 

I have made great progress!  Here are some of my most recent findings.

Day 1


Day 2


Day 3


Day 4


Day 5


Day 6


Final Presentation: 

Click here to download my presentation in powerpoint and pdf formats. (still working on it)

Final Report:

Not done yet... I just started.


Summary of interesting points. First 5 weeks, we learned ??? I really  liked the discussion of ???, but struggled to understand ??

Ethics Class:

About Me:  

I attend Kansas State University. The REU program has helped me grow in the following ways:

Useful Links: 

I have found the following links particularly informative or useful:

American Physical Society Statements on Ethics

American Institute of Physics

My Research group's home page



This program is funded by the National Science Foundation through grant number PHYS-1461251.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.