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A vast, thin plane of corotating dwarf galaxies orbiting the Andromeda galaxy.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23282362     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Dwarf satellite galaxies are thought to be the remnants of the population of primordial structures that coalesced to form giant galaxies like the Milky Way. It has previously been suspected that dwarf galaxies may not be isotropically distributed around our Galaxy, because several are correlated with streams of H I emission, and may form coplanar groups. These suspicions are supported by recent analyses. It has been claimed that the apparently planar distribution of satellites is not predicted within standard cosmology, and cannot simply represent a memory of past coherent accretion. However, other studies dispute this conclusion. Here we report the existence of a planar subgroup of satellites in the Andromeda galaxy (M 31), comprising about half of the population. The structure is at least 400 kiloparsecs in diameter, but also extremely thin, with a perpendicular scatter of less than 14.1 kiloparsecs. Radial velocity measurements reveal that the satellites in this structure have the same sense of rotation about their host. This shows conclusively that substantial numbers of dwarf satellite galaxies share the same dynamical orbital properties and direction of angular momentum. Intriguingly, the plane we identify is approximately aligned with the pole of the Milky Way's disk and with the vector between the Milky Way and Andromeda.
Authors:
Rodrigo A Ibata; Geraint F Lewis; Anthony R Conn; Michael J Irwin; Alan W McConnachie; Scott C Chapman; Michelle L Collins; Mark Fardal; Annette M N Ferguson; Neil G Ibata; A Dougal Mackey; Nicolas F Martin; Julio Navarro; R Michael Rich; David Valls-Gabaud; Lawrence M Widrow
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nature     Volume:  493     ISSN:  1476-4687     ISO Abbreviation:  Nature     Publication Date:  2013 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-01-03     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0410462     Medline TA:  Nature     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  62-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg, 11 rue de l'Université, F-67000 Strasbourg, France. rodrigo.ibata@astro.unistra.fr
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Comment In:
Nature. 2013 Jan 3;493(7430):31-2   [PMID:  23282358 ]

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