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Detecting Galaxy-Filament Alignments in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III

  • Chen, Yen-Chi
  • Ho, Shirley
  • Blazek, Jonathan
  • He, Siyu
  • Mandelbaum, Rachel
  • Melchior, Peter
  • Singh, Sukhdeep
Publication Date
Feb 21, 2019
Submission Date
Apr 30, 2018
DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz539
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Previous studies have shown the filamentary structures in the cosmic web influence the alignments of nearby galaxies. We study this effect in the LOWZ sample of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey using the "Cosmic Web Reconstruction" filament catalogue. We find that LOWZ galaxies exhibit a small but statistically significant alignment in the direction parallel to the orientation of nearby filaments. This effect is detectable even in the absence of nearby galaxy clusters, which suggests it is an effect from the matter distribution in the filament. A nonparametric regression model suggests that the alignment effect with filaments extends over separations of 30-40 Mpc. We find that galaxies that are bright and early-forming align more strongly with the directions of nearby filaments than those that are faint and late-forming; however, trends with stellar mass are less statistically significant, within the narrow range of stellar mass of this sample.

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