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- Anisotropy in the Distribution of Satellite Galaxy Orbits
- Knebe, Alexander; Gill, Stuart P.; Gibson, Brad K.; Lewis, Geraint F.; Ibata, Rodrigo A.; Dopita, Michael A.
- Nearby clusters such as Virgo and Coma possess galaxy distributions that tend to be aligned with the principal axis of the cluster itself. This has also been confirmed by a recent statistical analysis of some 300 Abell clusters, where the effect has been linked to the dynamical state of the cluster. Moreover, the orbits of satellite galaxies in galactic systems like our own Milky Way also demonstrate a high degree of anisotropy-the so-called Holmberg effect, the origin of which has been the subject of debate for more than 30 years. This study presents the analysis of cosmological simulations focusing on the orbits of satellite galaxies within dark matter halos. The apocenters of the orbits of these satellites are preferentially found within a cone of opening angle ~40° around the major axis of the host halo, in accordance with the observed anisotropy found in galaxy clusters. We do, however, note that a link to the dynamical age of the cluster is not well established, as both of our oldest dark matter halos do show a clear anisotropy signal. Further analysis connects this distribution to the infall pattern of satellites along the filaments: the orbits are determined rather by the environment of the host halo than some ``dynamical selection'' during their life within the host's virial radius.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. School of Biophysical Sciences and Electrical Engineering. Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing
- Astrophysical journal, Vol. 603, no. 1 (2004), pp. 7-11
- Publication year
- University of Chicago Press
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2004 The American Astronomical Society. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
- Full text
- Peer reviewed