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Journal Articles Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Year : 2019

The Origin of Lopsided Satellite Galaxy Distribution in Galaxy Pairs


It is well known that satellite galaxies are not isotropically distributed among their host galaxies as suggested by most interpretations of the Λ cold dark matter (ΛCDM) model. One type of anisotropy recently detected in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (and seen when examining the distribution of satellites in the Local Group and in the Centaurus group) is a tendency to be so-called lopsided. Namely, in pairs of galaxies (like Andromeda and the Milky Way) the satellites are more likely to inhabit the region in between the pair, rather than on opposing sides. Although recent studies found a similar set-up when comparing pairs of galaxies in ΛCDM simulations indicating that such a set-up is not inconsistent with ΛCDM, the origin has yet to be explained. Here we examine the origin of such lopsided set-ups by first identifying such distributions in pairs of galaxies in numerical cosmological simulations, and then tracking back the orbital trajectories of satellites (which at z = 0 display the effect). We report two main results: first, the lopsided distribution was stronger in the past and weakens towards z = 0. Secondly, the weakening of the signal is due to the interaction of satellite galaxies with the pair. Finally, we show that the z = 0 signal is driven primarily by satellites that are on first approach, who have yet to experience a ‘flyby’. This suggests that the signal seen in the observations is also dominated by dynamically young accretion events.
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hal-02272667 , version 1 (16-01-2024)



Chen Chris Gong, Noam I. Libeskind, Elmo Tempel, Quan Guo, Stefan Gottlöber, et al.. The Origin of Lopsided Satellite Galaxy Distribution in Galaxy Pairs. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2019, 488 (3), pp.3100-3108. ⟨10.1093/mnras/stz1917⟩. ⟨hal-02272667⟩
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