The dangers of deprojection of proper motions
- We re-examine the method of deprojection of proper motions, which has been used for finding the velocity ellipsoid of stars in the nearby Galaxy. This method is only legitimate if the lines of sight to the individual stars are uncorrelated with the stars' velocities. Very simple models are used to show that spurious results similar to ones recently reported are obtained when velocity dispersion decreases with galactocentric radius in the expected way. A scheme that compensates for this bias is proposed.
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- 5 pages, 5 figures (3 colour), MNRAS submitted
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