More satellites of spiral galaxies

Dennis Zaritsky, Rodney Smith, Carlos Frenk, Simon D.M. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


We present a revised and expanded catalog of satellite galaxies of a set of isolated spiral galaxies similar in luminosity to the Milky Way. This sample of 115 satellites, 69 of which were discovered in our multifiber redshift survey, is used to probe the results obtained from the original sample further (Zaritsky et al.). The satellites are, by definition, at projected separations lsim;500 kpc, have absolute recessional velocity differences with respect to the parent spiral of less than 500 km s-1, and are at least 2.2 mag fainter than their associated primary galaxy. A key characteristic of this survey is the strict isolation of these systems, which simplifies any dynamical analysis. We find no evidence for a decrease in the velocity dispersion of the satellite system as a function of radius out to galactocentric radii of 400 kpc, which suggests that the halo extends well beyond 200 kpc. Furthermore, the new sample affirms our previous conclusions (Zaritsky et al.) that (1) the velocity difference between a satellite and its primary is not strongly correlated with the rotation speed of the primary, (2) the system of satellites has a slight net rotation (34 ± 14 km s-1) in the same sense as the primary's disk, and (3) that the halo mass of an ∼L* spiral galaxy is in excess of 2 × 1012 M.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART I
StatePublished - 1997


  • Catalogs
  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: distances and redshifts
  • Galaxies: spiral

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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