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Planes of satellite galaxies and the cosmic web  [PDF]
Noam I. Libeskind,Yehuda Hoffman,R. Brent Tully,Helene M. Courtois,Daniel Pomarede,Stefan Gottloeber,Matthias Steinmetz
Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv1302
Abstract: Recent observational studies have demonstrated that the majority of satellite galaxies tend to orbit their hosts on highly flattened, vast, possibly co-rotating planes. Two nearly parallel planes of satellites have been confirmed around the M31 galaxy and around the Centaurus A galaxy, while the Milky Way also sports a plane of satellites. It has been argued that such an alignment of satellites on vast planes is unexpected in the standard ({\Lambda}CDM) model of cosmology if not even in contradiction to its generic predictions. Guided by {\Lambda}CDM numerical simulations, which suggest that satellites are channeled towards hosts along the axis of the slowest collapse as dictated by the ambient velocity shear tensor, we re-examine the planes of local satellites systems within the framework of the local shear tensor derived from the Cosmicflows-2 dataset. The analysis reveals that the Local Group and Centaurus A reside in a filament stretched by the Virgo cluster and compressed by the expansion of the Local Void. Four out of five thin planes of satellite galaxies are indeed closely aligned with the axis of compression induced by the Local Void. Being the less massive system, the moderate misalignment of the Milky Way's satellite plane can likely be ascribed to its greater susceptibility to tidal torques, as suggested by numerical simulations. The alignment of satellite systems in the local universe with the ambient shear field is thus in general agreement with predictions of the {\Lambda}CDM model.
Planes of satellite galaxies: when exceptions are the rule  [PDF]
Marius Cautun,Sownak Bose,Carlos S. Frenk,Qi Guo,Jiaxin Han,Wojciech A. Hellwing,Till Sawala,Wenting Wang
Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv1557
Abstract: The detection of planar structures within the satellite systems of both the Milky Way (MW) and Andromeda (M31) has been reported as being in stark contradiction to the predictions of the standard cosmological model ($\Lambda$CDM). Given the ambiguity in defining a planar configuration, it is unclear how to interpret the low incidence of the MW and M31 planes in $\Lambda$CDM. We investigate the prevalence of satellite planes around galactic mass haloes identified in high resolution cosmological simulations. We find that planar structures are very common, and that ~10% of $\Lambda$CDM haloes have even more prominent planes than those present in the Local Group. While ubiquitous, the planes of satellite galaxies show a large diversity in their properties. This precludes using one or two systems as small scale probes of cosmology, since a large sample of satellite systems is needed to obtain a good measure of the object-to-object variation. This very diversity has been misinterpreted as a discrepancy between the satellite planes observed in the Local Group and $\Lambda$CDM predictions. In fact, ~10% of $\Lambda$CDM galactic haloes have planes of satellites that are as infrequent as the MW and M31 planes. The look-elsewhere effect plays an important role in assessing the detection significance of satellite planes and accounting for it leads to overestimating the significance level by a factor of 30 and 100 for the MW and M31 systems, respectively.
A comparison of the distribution of satellite galaxies around Andromeda and the results of $Λ$CDM simulations  [PDF]
Henning Bahl,Holger Baumgardt
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stt2399
Abstract: Ibata et al. (2013) recently reported the existence of a vast thin plane of dwarf galaxies (VTPD) orbiting around Andromeda. We investigate whether such a configuration can be reproduced within the standard cosmological framework and search for similar planes of co-rotating satellite galaxies around Andromeda-like host haloes in data from the Millennium II simulation combined with a semi-analytic galaxy formation model. We apply a baryonic mass cut of $2.8\times 10^4 \text{M}_{\text{sun}}$ for the satellite haloes and restrict the data to a PAndAS like field. If we include the so-called orphan galaxies in our analysis, we find that planes with a rms lower than the VTPD are common in Millennium II. This is partially due to the strongly radially concentrated distribution of orphan galaxies. Excluding part of the orphan galaxies brings the radial distributions of Millennium II satellites into better agreement with the satellite distribution of Andromeda while still producing a significant fraction of planes with a lower rms than the VTPD. We also find haloes in Millennium II with an equal or higher number of co-rotating satellites than the VTPD. This demonstrates that the VTPD is not in conflict with the standard cosmological framework, although a definite answer of this question might require higher resolution cosmological simulations that do not have to consider orphan galaxies. Our results finally show that satellite planes in Millennium II are not stable structures, hence the VTPD might only be a statistical fluctuation of an underlying more spherical galaxy distribution.
A thousand shadows of Andromeda: rotating planes of satellites in the Millennium-II cosmological simulation  [PDF]
Rodrigo A. Ibata,Neil G. Ibata,Geraint F. Lewis,Nicolas F. Martin,Anthony Conn,Pascal Elahi,Veronica Arias,Nuwanthika Fernando
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/784/1/L6
Abstract: In a recent contribution, Bahl \& Baumgardt investigated the incidence of planar alignments of satellite galaxies in the Millennium-II simulation, and concluded that vast thin planes of dwarf galaxies, similar to that observed in the Andromeda galaxy (M31), occur frequently by chance in $\Lambda$-Cold Dark Matter cosmology. However, their analysis did not capture the essential fact that the observed alignment is simultaneously radially extended, yet thin, and kinematically unusual. With the caveat that the Millennium-II simulation may not have sufficient mass resolution to identify confidently simulacra of low-luminosity dwarf galaxies, we re-examine that simulation for planar structures, using the same method as employed by Ibata et al. (2013) on the real M31 satellites. We find that 0.04\% of host galaxies display satellite alignments that are at least as extreme as the observations, when we consider their extent, thickness and number of members rotating in the same sense. We further investigate the angular momentum properties of the co-planar satellites, and find that the median of the specific angular momentum derived from the line of sight velocities in the real M31 structure ($1.3\times10^4$ km/s kpc) is very high compared to systems drawn from the simulations. This analysis confirms that it is highly unlikely that the observed structure around the Andromeda galaxy is due to a chance occurrence. Interestingly, the few extreme systems that are similar to M31 arise from the accretion of a massive sub-halo with its own spatially-concentrated entourage of orphan satellites.
Velocity anti-correlation of diametrically opposed galaxy satellites in the low redshift universe  [PDF]
Neil G. Ibata,Rodrigo A. Ibata,Benoit Famaey,Geraint F. Lewis
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1038/nature13481
Abstract: Recent work has shown that both the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxies possess the unexpected property that their dwarf satellite galaxies are aligned in thin and kinematically coherent planar structures. It is now important to evaluate the incidence of such planar structures in the larger galactic population, since the Local Group may not be a sufficiently representative environment. Here we report that the measurement of the velocity of pairs of diametrically opposed galaxy satellites provides a means to determine statistically the prevalence of kinematically coherent planar alignments. In the local universe (redshift $z<0.05$), we find that such satellite pairs out to a galactocentric distance of $150$ kpc are preferentially anti-correlated in their velocities (99.994% confidence level), and that the distribution of galaxies in the larger scale environment (beyond 150 kpc and up to $\approx 2$ Mpc) is strongly elongated along the axis joining the inner satellite pair ($>7\sigma$ confidence). Our finding may indicate that co-rotating planes of satellites, similar to that seen around the Andromeda galaxy, are ubiquitous in nature, while their coherent motion also suggests that they are a significant repository of angular momentum on $\sim 100$ kpc scales.
The Formation of the Local Group Planes of Galaxies  [PDF]
Ed J. Shaya,R. Brent Tully
Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stt1714
Abstract: The confinement of most satellite galaxies in the Local Group to thin planes presents a challenge to the theory of hierarchical galaxy clustering. The PAndAS collaboration has identified a particularly thin configuration with kinematic coherence among companions of M31 and there have been long standing claims that the dwarf companions to the Milky Way lie in a plane roughly orthogonal to the disk of our galaxy. This discussion investigates the possible origins of four Local Group planes: the plane similar, but not identical to that identified by PAndAS, an adjacent slightly tilted plane, and two planes near the Milky Way: one with nearer galaxies and the other with more distant ones. Plausible orbits are found by using a combination of Numerical Action methods and a backward in time integration procedure. For M31, M33, IC10, and LeoI, solutions are found that are consistent with measurements of their proper motions. For galaxies in planes, there must be commonalities in their proper motions, and this constraint greatly limits the number of physically plausible solutions. Key to the formation of the planar structures has been the evacuation of the Local Void and consequent build-up of the Local Sheet, a wall of this void. Most of the M31 companion galaxies were born in early-forming filamentary or sheet-like substrata that chased M31 out of the void. M31 is a moving target because of its attraction toward the Milky Way, and the result has been alignments stretched toward our galaxy. In the case of the configuration around the Milky Way, it appears that our galaxy was in a three-way competition for companions with M31 and Centaurus A. Only those within a modest band fell our way. The Milky Ways' attraction toward the Virgo Cluster resulted in alignments along the Milky Way-Virgo Cluster line.
Non Newtonian Dynamics in Galaxies and Satellite Galaxies  [PDF]
B. G. Sidharth
Physics , 2010,
Abstract: Recent studies have thrown up a big enigma. On the one hand they point to satellite galaxies rotating faster than they should with the usual theory. On the other hand they also go against explanation of Newtonian gravity with dark matter. In this brief note it is argued that the varying $G$ cosmology which explains all the observed General Relativistic effects and the Pioneer anomaly reconciles the controversial conclusions of the latest observations.
The Plane Truth: Andromeda analog thin Planes of Satellites are not kinematical coherent structures  [PDF]
Tobias Buck,Aaron A. Dutton,Andrea V. Macciò
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: A large fraction of the dwarf satellite galaxies orbiting the Andromeda galaxy are surprisingly aligned in a thin, extended and seemingly kinematically coherent planar structure. Such a structure is not easily found in simulations based on the Cold Dark Matter model. Using 21 high resolution cosmological simulations based on this model we analyze in detail the kinematical structure of planes of satellites resembling the one observed around Andromeda when co-rotation is characterized by the line-of-sight velocity. At the same time, when co-rotation is inferred by the angular momenta of the satellites, the planes are in excellent agreement with the plane around the Milky Way. Furthermore, we find such planes to be common in our simulations. Investigation of the kinematics of the satellites in the plane reveals that the number of co-rotating satellites varies by 2 to 5 out of ~12 depending on the viewing angle. These variations are consistent with that obtained from a sample with random velocities. Using instead the clustering of angular momentum vectors of the satellites in the plane results in a better measure of kinematic coherence. Thus we conclude that the line-of-sight velocity as a proxy for the kinematical coherence of the plane is not a robust measure. Detailed analysis of the kinematics of our planes shows that the planes consist of ~30% chance aligned satellites. Tracking the satellites in the plane back in time reveals that the plane is a transient feature and not kinematically coherent as would appear at first sight.
A new spin on disks of satellite galaxies  [PDF]
Marius Cautun,Wenting Wang,Carlos S. Frenk,Till Sawala
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv490
Abstract: We investigate the angular and kinematic distributions of satellite galaxies around a large sample of bright isolated primaries in the spectroscopic and photometric catalogues of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). We detect significant anisotropy in the spatial distribution of satellites. To test whether this anisotropy could be related to the rotating disks of satellites recently found by Ibata et al. in a sample of SDSS galaxies, we repeat and extend their analysis. Ibata et al. found an excess of satellites on opposite sides of their primaries having anticorrelated radial velocities. We find that this excess is sensitive to small changes in the sample selection criteria which can greatly reduce its significance. In addition, we find no evidence for correspondingly correlated velocities for satellites observed on the same side of their primaries, which would be expected for rotating disks of satellites. We conclude that the detection of coherent rotation in the satellite population in current observational samples is not robust. We compare our data to the $\Lambda$CDM Millennium simulations populated with galaxies according to the semi-analytic model of Guo et al. We find excellent agreement with the spatial distribution of satellites in the SDSS data and the lack of a strong signal from coherent rotation.
Satellite galaxies in nearby groups of galaxies  [PDF]
J. Vennik,U. Hopp
Physics , 2015,
Abstract: We analyse distribution, kinematics and star-formation (SF) properties of satellite galaxies in three different samples of nearby groups. We find that studied groups are generally well approximated by low-concentration NFW model, show a variety of LOS velocity dispersion profiles and signs of SF quenching in outskirts of dwarf satellite galaxies.
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