Demise of Faint Satellites around Isolated Early-type Galaxies.
The hierarchical galaxy formation scenario in the Cold Dark Matter cosmogony with a non-vanishing cosmological constant and geometrically flat space has been very successful in explaining the large-scale distribution of galaxies. However, there have been claims that the scenario predicts too many satellite galaxies associated with massive galaxies compared to observations, called the missing satellite galaxy problem. Isolated groups of galaxies hosted by passively evolving massive early-type galaxies are ideal laboratories for finding the missing physics in the current theory. Here we report from a deep spectroscopic survey of such satellite systems that isolated massive early-type galaxies with no recent star formation through wet mergers or accretion have almost no satellite galaxies fainter than the r-band absolute magnitude of about Mr =-14. If only early-type satellites are used, the cutoff is at somewhat brighter magnitude of about Mr =-15. Such a cutoff has not been found in other nearby satellite galaxy systems hosted by late-type galaxies or those with merger features. Various physical properties of satellites depend strongly on the host-centric distance. Our observation indicates that the satellite galaxy luminosity function is largely determined by the interaction of satellites with the environment provided by their host, which sheds light on the missing satellite galaxy problem.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1711.02336
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