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Evidence for spin alignment of spiral and elliptical/S0 galaxies in filaments
Tempel, E.; Stoica, R. S.; Saar, E.
AA(Tartu Observatory, Observatooriumi 1, 61602 Tõravere, Estonia; National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics, Rävala pst 10, 10143 Tallinn, Estonia; ), AB(Université Lille 1, Laboratoire Paul Painlevé, F-59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex, France; Institut de Mécanique Céleste et Calcul d'Ephémérides, Observatoire de Paris, F-75014 Paris, France), AC(Tartu Observatory, Observatooriumi 1, 61602 Tõravere, Estonia; Estonian Academy of Sciences, Kohtu 6, 10130 Tallinn, Estonia)
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 428, Issue 2, p.1827-1836 (MNRAS Homepage)
Publication Date:
Astronomy Keywords:
methods: statistical, galaxies: evolution, galaxies: general, galaxies: statistics, large-scale structure of Universe
Abstract Copyright:
2012 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
Bibliographic Code:


Galaxies are not distributed randomly in the cosmic web but are instead arranged in filaments and sheets surrounding cosmic voids. Observationally, there is still no convincing evidence of a link between the properties of galaxies and their host structures. However, by the tidal torque theory (our understanding of the origin of galaxy angular momentum), such a link should exist. Using the presently largest spectroscopic galaxy redshift survey (Sloan Digital Sky Survey), we study the connection between the spin axes of galaxies and the orientation of their host filaments.

We use a 3D field of orientations to describe cosmic filaments. To restore the inclination angles of galaxies, we use a 3D photometric model of galaxies that gives these angles more accurately than traditional 2D models.

We found evidence that the spin axes of bright spiral galaxies have a weak tendency to be aligned parallel to filaments. For elliptical/S0 galaxies, we have a statistically significant result that their spin axes are aligned preferentially perpendicular to the host filaments; we show that this signal practically does not depend on the accuracy of the estimated inclination angles for elliptical/S0 galaxies.

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