Planes of satellites around simulated disk galaxies I: finding high-quality planar configurations from positional information and their comparison to MW/M31 data



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Santos Santos, Isabel and Domínguez Tenreiro, Rosa and Artal, Héctor and Pedrosa, Susana E. and Bignone, Lucas and Martínez Serrano, Francisco and Gomez Flechoso, Maria de los Angeles and Tissera, Patricia B. and Serna, Arturo (2020) Planes of satellites around simulated disk galaxies I: finding high-quality planar configurations from positional information and their comparison to MW/M31 data. Astrophysical journal, 897 (1). ISSN 0004-637X

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We address the “plane of satellites problem” by studying planar configurations around two disk galaxies with no late major mergers, formed in zoom-in hydro-simulations. Due to the current lack of good-quality kinematic data for M31 satellites, we use only positional information. So far, positional analyses of simulations are unable to find planes as thin and populated as the observed ones. We follow a novel systematic and detailed plane searching technique to study the properties and quality of planes of satellites, in both simulations or real data. In particular, (i) we extend the four-galaxy-normal density plot method (Pawlowski et al. 2013) in a way designed to efficiently identify high-quality planes (i.e., thin and populated) without imposing extra constraints on their properties, and (ii), we apply it for the first time to simulations. Using zoom-in simulations allows us to mimic Milky Way/M31- like systems regarding the number of satellites involved as well as galactic disk effects. In both simulations, we find satellite planar configurations that are compatible, along given time intervals, with all of the spatial characteristics of observed planes identified using the same methodology. During most of these periods, planes are approximately perpendicular to the galactic disk. However, the fraction of co-orbiting satellites within them is, in general, low, suggesting time-varying satellite membership. We conclude that high-quality positional planes of satellites could be not infrequent in ΛCDM-formed disk galaxies with a quiet assembly history. Detecting kinematically coherent, time-persistent planes demands considering the full six-dimensional phase-space information of satellites.

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© 2020. The American Astronomical Society. We thank the anonymous referee for useful comments and suggestions that have helped improve this work. This work was supported through MINECO/FEDER (Spain) AYA2012- 31101, AYA2015-63810-P, and MICINN/FEDER (Spain) PGC2018-094975-C21 grants. I.S.S. acknowledges support by the Arthur B. McDonald Canadian Astroparticle Physics Research Institute. This work used the Ragnar cluster funded by Fondecyt 1150334 and Universidad Andrés Bello, and Geryon cluster (Pontificia Universidad de Chile). We used a version of Aq-C-5 that is part of the CIELO Project run in Marenostrum (Barcelona Supercomputer Centre). This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 734374 (LACEGALRISE). I.S.S acknowledges funding from the same grant for a secondment at the Astrophysics group of Univ. Andrés Bello (Santiago, Chile), and from the Univ. Autónoma de Madrid for a stay at the Leibniz Institut fur Astrophysik Potsdam (Germany). I.S.S. thanks Dr. Patricia Tissera and Dr. Noam Libeskind for kindly hosting her.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Milky-way; Particle hydrodynamics; Spatial-distribution; Metal enrichment; Dwarf galaxies; Thin plane; Andromeda; Evolution; Model; Halo
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
Sciences > Physics > Astronomy
ID Code:62060
Deposited On:11 Sep 2020 09:54
Last Modified:11 Sep 2020 10:49

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