Date of Award

5-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Virginia McSwain

Abstract

We present an investigation of the structure and characteristics of the Milky Way Galaxy using data from the Gaia mission's second data release (DR2). We began by plotting the spatial distribution of stars in a variety of directions around the Galactic plane. Using Python, we have generated several random populations of stars with different distributions. The stars in each model are assigned a random mass, M, according to the Salpeter initial mass function, and we assign a luminosity, L, by assuming a simple power law, L ~ M3, to account for their visibility. Finally, we compare the modeled stellar density distributions to the observed distribution within the Milky Way.

Included in

Physics Commons

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