A FORMATION SCENARIO FOR THE DISK OF SATELLITES: ACCRETION OF SATELLITES DURING MERGERS

Rory Smith, Pierre Alain Duc, Frederic Bournaud, Sukyoung K. Yi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Disk of Satellites (DoS) observed in the Andromeda galaxy is a thin and extended group of satellites, nearly perpendicular to the disk plane, that share a common direction of rotation about the center of Andromeda. Although a DoS is also observed in the Milky Way galaxy, the prevalance of such structures in more distant galaxies remains controversial. Explanations for the formation of such DoSs vary widely from filamentary infall, or flattening due to the potential field from the large-scale structure, to galaxy interactions in a Mondian paradigm. Here we present an alternative scenario - during a merger, a galaxy may bring its own satellite population when merging with another galaxy. We demonstrate how, under the correct circumstances, during the coalescence of the two galaxies, the satellite population can be spread into an extended, flattened structure, with a common direction of rotation about the merger remnant. We investigate the key parameters of the interaction and the satellite population that are required to form a DoS in this scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume818
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 10

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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