peculiar velocity

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peculiar velocity

See peculiar motion.

peculiar velocity

[pə′kyül·yər və′läs·əd·ē]
(astronomy)
Superposed on the systematic rotation of the galaxy are individual motions of the stars; each star moves in a somewhat elliptical orbit and therefore shows a velocity of its own (peculiar velocity) to the local standard of rest, the standard moving in a circular orbit around the galactic center.
References in periodicals archive ?
In principle these two graphs should look identical, but in practice they don't, since the radial distance measurements are affected by peculiar velocities.
Measuring these peculiar velocities thus traces the distribution of mass (whether seen or unseen) in the universe.