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Rosemary Wyse  - One important early application of RAVE aims to measure just how much stuff there is in our Milky Way galaxy - the collection of stars, gas and dark matter that is the home of our sun. Newton's Law of Gravity allows us to figure out from the orbital motions of stars how much mass is holding them together. Faster motions need more mass. We know from analyzing the motions in other galaxies that there is a lot more mass than we can see and this dark matter appears to dominate. But we are not sure exactly how much dark matter is needed in our own galaxy, and we don't know what the dark matter is made up of. That information is important, and the RAVE survey is going to help us answer some of those questions.

One important early application of RAVE aims to measure just how much stuff there is in our Milky Way galaxy - the collection of stars, gas and dark matter that is the home of our sun. Newton's Law of Gravity allows us to figure out from the orbital motions of stars how much mass is holding them together. Faster motions need more mass. We know from analyzing the motions in other galaxies that there is a lot more mass than we can see and this dark matter appears to dominate. But we are not sure exactly how much dark matter is needed in our own galaxy, and we don't know what the dark matter is made up of. That information is important, and the RAVE survey is going to help us answer some of those questions.

Rosemary Wyse
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