The abundance and radial distribution of satellite galaxies

Van Den Bosch, Frank C. ; Yang, Xiaohu ; Mo, H. J. ; Norberg, Peder

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2005, vol. 356, no. 4, p. 1233-1248

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    Using detailed mock galaxy redshift surveys (MGRSs) we investigate the abundance and radial distribution of satellite galaxies. The mock surveys are constructed using large numerical simulations and the conditional luminosity function (CLF), and are compared against data from the Two Degree Field Galaxy Redshift Survey (2dFGRS). We use Monte Carlo Markov chains to explore the full posterior distribution of the CLF parameter space, and show that the average relation between light and mass is tightly constrained and in excellent agreement with our previous models and with that of Vale & Ostriker. The radial number density distribution of satellite galaxies in the 2dFGRS reveals a pronounced absence of satellites at small projected separations from their host galaxies. This is (at least partly) owing to the overlap and merging of galaxy images in the 2dFGRS parent catalogue. Owing to the resulting close-pair incompleteness we are unfortunately unable to put meaningful constraints on the radial distribution of satellite galaxies; the data are consistent with a radial number density distribution that follows that of the dark matter particles, but we cannot rule out alternatives with a constant number density core. Marginalizing over the full CLF parameter space, we show that in a ΛCDM concordance cosmology the observed abundances of host and satellite galaxies in the 2dFGRS indicate a power spectrum normalization of σ8 ⋍ 0.7. The same cosmology but with σ8= 0.9 is unable to match simultaneously the abundances of host and satellite galaxies. This confirms our previous conclusions based on the pairwise peculiar velocity dispersions and the group multiplicity function