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2006ApJ...645..228A - Astrophys. J., 645, 228-239 (2006/July-1)

The peculiar velocities of satellites of external disk galaxies.


Abstract (from CDS):

We analyze the angular distribution and the orbital rotation directions of a sample of carefully selected satellite galaxies about disk galaxy primaries extracted from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). We complement this analysis with a theoretical study of these statistics in an N-body simulation of cosmological structure formation set within the ΛCDM paradigm under various assumptions for the orientations of disk angular momenta. Under the assumption that the angular momenta of the disks are aligned with the angular momenta of the inner regions of their host dark matter halos, we find that the fraction of simulated satellite halos that exhibit prograde motion is fprog~0.55-0.60, with larger satellites more likely to be prograde. In our observational sample, approximately 60% of the satellites exhibit prograde motion, a result that is broadly consistent with the simulated sample. Our observational sample of satellite galaxies shows no evidence for an anisotropic satellite distribution relative to disk primaries; however, the small sample size does not yet support a statistically significant comparison to previous studies of satellite anisotropy. Again, this result is broadly consistent with our simulated sample of satellites under the assumption that disk and halo angular momenta are aligned. However, the small size of our observational sample does not yet allow us to distinguish between various assumptions regarding the orientations of disks in their halos. Finally, we present an assessment of the importance of contamination by interlopers on the measured prograde and retrograde statistics.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): Galaxies: Evolution - Galaxies: Formation - Galaxies: Kinematics and Dynamics

VizieR on-line data: <Available at CDS (J/ApJ/645/228): table3.dat>

Nomenclature: Table 3: [AZP2006] PGC NNNNNNN a, [AZP2006] MCG +FF+FF-NNN a, [AZP2006] NGC NNNN a, [AZP2006] UGC NNNNN a, [AZP2006] IC NNNN a, [AZP2006] CGCG NN-NN a, N=66.

Simbad objects: 110

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