Astrophys. J., 607, 810-820 (2004/June-1)
Companions to isolated elliptical galaxies: revisiting the Bothun-Sullivan sample.
MADORE B.F., FREEDMAN W.L. and BOTHUN G.D.
Abstract (from CDS):
We investigate the number of physical companion galaxies for a sample of relatively isolated elliptical galaxies. The NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) has been used to reinvestigate the incidence of satellite galaxies for a sample of 34 elliptical galaxies, first investigated by Bothun & Sullivan using a visual inspection of Palomar Sky Survey prints out to a projected search radius of 75 kpc. We have repeated their original investigation using data cataloged in NED. Nine of these elliptical galaxies appear to be members of galaxy clusters; the remaining sample of 25 galaxies reveals an average of +1.0±0.5 apparent companions per galaxy within a projected search radius of 75 kpc, in excess of two equal-area comparison regions displaced by 150-300 kpc. This is significantly larger than the +0.12±0.42 companions/galaxy found by Bothun & Sullivan for the identical sample. Making use of published radial velocities, mostly available since the completion of the Bothun-Sullivan study, identifies the physical companions and gives a somewhat lower estimate of +0.4 companions per elliptical galaxy. This is still 3 times larger than the original statistical study, but given the incomplete and heterogeneous nature of the survey redshifts in NED, it still yields a firm lower limit on the number (and identity) of physical companions. An expansion of the search radius out to 300 kpc, again restricted to sampling only those objects with known redshifts in NED, gives another lower limit of 4.5 physical companions per galaxy. (Excluding five elliptical galaxies in the Fornax Cluster, this average drops to 3.5 companions per elliptical.) These physical companions are individually identified and listed, and the ensemble-averaged radial density distribution of these associated galaxies is presented. For the ensemble, the radial density distribution is found to have a falloff consistent with ρ∝R–0.5 out to approximately 150 kpc. For non-Fornax Cluster companions the falloff continues out to the 300 kpc limit of the survey. The velocity dispersion of these companions is found to reach a maximum of 350 km/s at around 120 kpc, after which they fall at a rate consistent with Keplerian falloff. This falloff may then indicate the detection of a cut-off in the mass-density distribution in the elliptical galaxies' dark matter halo at ∼100 kpc.
Galaxies: Elliptical and Lenticular, cD - Galaxies: Statistics
VizieR on-line data:
<Available at CDS (J/ApJ/607/810): table2.dat table3.dat>
Appendix A: [MFB2004] N (Nos 1-2).
Table 3: 2dFGPS N113Z117 is a misprint for 2dFGRS TGN113Z117, [KEB] J124959.6-093036 is a misprint for [KEB82] 124959.6-093036.
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