Journal Article

Environment and mass dependencies of galactic λ spin parameter: cosmological simulations and observed galaxies compared

B. Cervantes-Sodi, X. Hernandez, Changbom Park and Juhan Kim

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 388, issue 2, pages 863-872
Published in print August 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13449.x
Environment and mass dependencies of galactic λ spin parameter: cosmological simulations and observed galaxies compared

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We use a sample of galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to search for correlations between the λ spin parameter and the environment and mass of galaxies. In order to calculate the total value of λ for each observed galaxy, we employed a simple model of the dynamical structure of the galaxies, which allows a rough estimate of the value of λ using only readily obtainable observables from the luminous galaxies. Use of a large volume-limited sample (upwards of 11 000) allows reliable inferences of mean values and dispersions of λ distributions. We find, in agreement with some N-body cosmological simulations, no significant dependence of λ on the environmental density of the galaxies. For the case of mass, our results show a marked correlation with λ, in the sense that low-mass galaxies present both higher mean values of λ and associated dispersions, than high-mass galaxies. These results provide interesting constrain on the mechanisms of galaxy formation and acquisition of angular momentum, a valuable test for cosmological models.

Keywords: galaxies: formation; galaxies: fundamental parameters; galaxies: statistics; galaxies: structure; cosmology: observations

Journal Article.  7325 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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