Eppur Si muove: positional and kinematic correlations of satellite pairs in the low z universe.
IBATA R.A., FAMAEY B., LEWIS G.F., IBATA N.G. and MARTIN N.
Abstract (from CDS):
We have recently shown that pairs of satellite galaxies located diametrically opposite to each other around their host possess predominantly anti-correlated velocities. This is consistent with a scenario in which ≳50% of satellite galaxies belong to kinematically coherent rotating planar structures. Here we extend this analysis, examining satellites of giant galaxies drawn from an SDSS photometric redshift catalog. We find that there is a ∼17% overabundance (>3σ significance) of candidate satellites at positions diametrically opposite to a spectroscopically confirmed satellite. We show that ΛCDM cosmological simulations do not possess this property when contamination is included. After subtracting contamination, we find ∼2 times more satellites diametrically opposed to a spectroscopically confirmed satellite than at 90° from it, at projected distances ranging from 100 to 150 kpc from the host. This independent analysis thus strongly supports our previous results on anti-correlated velocities. We also find that those satellite pairs with anti-correlated velocities have a strong preference (∼3:1) to align with the major axis of the host whereas those with correlated velocities display the opposite behavior. We finally show that repeating a similar analysis to Ibata et al. with same-side satellites is generally hard to interpret, but is not inconsistent with our previous results when strong quality cuts are applied on the sample. This addresses all of the concerns recently raised by Cautun et al., who did not uncover any flaw in our previous analysis, but may simply have hinted at the physical extent of planar satellite structures by pointing out that the anti-correlation signal weakens at radii >150 kpc. All these unexpected positional and kinematic correlations strongly suggest that a substantial fraction of satellite galaxies are causally linked in their formation and evolution.
galaxies: formation - galaxies: general - galaxies: kinematics and dynamics