Jeans solutions for triaxial galaxies

Glenn van de Ven, Chris Hunter, Ellen Verolme, Tim de Zeeuw

The Jeans equations relate the second-order velocity moments to the density and potential of a stellar system. For general three-dimensional stellar systems, there are three equations, but these are not very helpful, as they contain six independent moments. By assuming that the potential is triaxial and of separable St\"ackel form, the mixed moments vanish in confocal ellipsoidal coordinates. The three Jeans equations and three remaining non-vanishing moments form a closed system of three highly-symmetric coupled first-order partial differential equations in three variables. They were first derived by Lynden--Bell in 1960, but have resisted solution by standard methods. Here we present the general solution by superposition of singular solutions.