|Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 2001. 39:
Copyright © 2001 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
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Abstract. Rotation curves of spiral galaxies are the major tool for determining the distribution of mass in spiral galaxies. They provide fundamental information for understanding the dynamics, evolution and formation of spiral galaxies. We describe various methods to derive rotation curves, and review the results obtained. We discuss the basic characteristics of observed rotation curves in relation to various galaxy properties, such as Hubble type, structure, activity, and environment.
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