Observational measures of halo properties beyond mass

Peter Behroozi, Andrew Hearin, Benjamin P. Moster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Different properties of dark matter haloes, including growth rate, concentration, interaction history, and spin, correlate with environment in unique, scale-dependent ways. While these halo properties are not directly observable, galaxies will inherit their host haloes' correlations with environment. In this paper, we show how these characteristic environmental signatures allow using measurements of galaxy environment to constrain which dark matter halo properties are most tightly connected to observable galaxy properties. We show that different halo properties beyond mass imprint distinct scale-dependent signatures in both the galaxy two-point correlation function and the distribution of distances to galaxies' kth nearest neighbours, with features strong enough to be accessible even with low-resolution (e.g. grism) spectroscopy at higher redshifts. As an application, we compute observed two-point correlation functions for galaxies binned by half-mass radius at $z$ = 0 from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, showing that classic galaxy size models (i.e. galaxy size being proportional to halo spin) as well as other recent proposals show significant tensions with observational data. We show that the agreement with observed clustering can be improved with a simple empirical model in which galaxy size correlates with halo growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2800-2824
Number of pages25
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • galaxies
  • haloes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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