• gravitation;
  • Galaxy: kinematics and dynamics


Both microlensing surveys and radio-frequency observations of gas flow imply that the inner Milky Way is completely dominated by baryons, contrary to the predictions of standard cold dark matter (CDM) cosmology. We investigate the predictions of the modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND) formula for the Galaxy given the measured baryon distribution. Satisfactory fits to the observationally determined terminal-velocity curve are obtained for different choices of MOND's interpolating function μ(x). However, with simple analytical forms of μ(x), the local circular speed vc(R0) can be as large as 220 km s−1 only for values of the parameter a0 that are excluded by observations of NGC 3198. Only a numerically specified interpolating function can produce vc(R0) = 220 km s−1, which is therefore an upper limit in MOND, while the asymptotic velocity is predicted to be vc(∞) = 170 ± 5 km s−1. The data are probably not consistent with the functional form of μ(x) that has been explored as a toy model in the framework of Bekenstein's covariant theory of gravity.