How Common are the Magellanic Clouds

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We introduce a probabilistic approach to the problem of counting dwarf satellites around host galaxies in databases with limited redshift information. This technique is used to investigate the occurrence of satellites with luminosities similar to the Magellanic Clouds around hosts with properties similar to the Milky Way in the object catalog of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Our analysis uses data from SDSS Data Release 7, selecting candidate Milky-Way-like hosts from the spectroscopic catalog and candidate analogs of the Magellanic Clouds from the photometric catalog. Our principal result is the probability for a Milky-Way-like galaxy to host N{sub sat} close ... continued below

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16 pages

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Liu, Lulu; Gerke, Brian F.; Wechsler, Risa H.; Behroozi, Peter S.; Busha, Michael T. & /KIPAC, Menlo Park /SLAC May 20, 2011.

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Description

We introduce a probabilistic approach to the problem of counting dwarf satellites around host galaxies in databases with limited redshift information. This technique is used to investigate the occurrence of satellites with luminosities similar to the Magellanic Clouds around hosts with properties similar to the Milky Way in the object catalog of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Our analysis uses data from SDSS Data Release 7, selecting candidate Milky-Way-like hosts from the spectroscopic catalog and candidate analogs of the Magellanic Clouds from the photometric catalog. Our principal result is the probability for a Milky-Way-like galaxy to host N{sub sat} close satellites with luminosities similar to the Magellanic Clouds. We find that 81 percent of galaxies like the Milky Way have no such satellites within a radius of 150 kpc, 11 percent have one, and only 3.5 percent of hosts have two. The probabilities are robust to changes in host and satellite selection criteria, background-estimation technique, and survey depth. These results demonstrate that the Milky Way has significantly more satellites than a typical galaxy of its luminosity; this fact is useful for understanding the larger cosmological context of our home galaxy.

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16 pages

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  • Journal Name: Astrophys.J.733:62,2011

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  • Report No.: SLAC-PUB-14410
  • Grant Number: AC02-76SF00515
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1014116
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc833299

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • May 20, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 5, 2016, 7:45 p.m.

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Liu, Lulu; Gerke, Brian F.; Wechsler, Risa H.; Behroozi, Peter S.; Busha, Michael T. & /KIPAC, Menlo Park /SLAC. How Common are the Magellanic Clouds, article, May 20, 2011; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc833299/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.