The Magellanic Group and the Seven Dwarfs

D'Onghia, Elena ; Lake, George

In: Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union, 2008, vol. 4, no. S256, p. 473-478

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    The Magellanic Clouds were the largest members of a group of dwarf galaxies that entered the Milky Way (MW) halo at late times. This group, dominated by the LMC, contained ~4% of the mass of the Milky Way prior to its accretion and tidal disruption, but ≈70% of the known dwarfs orbiting the MW. Our theory addresses many outstanding problems in galaxy formation associated with dwarf galaxies. First, it can explain the planar orbital configuration populated by some dSphs in the MW. Second, it provides a mechanism for lighting up a subset of dwarf galaxies to reproduce the cumulative circular velocity distribution of the satellites in the MW. Finally, our model predicts that most dwarfs will be found in association with other dwarfs. The recent discovery of Leo V (Belokurov et al. 2008), a dwarf spheroidal companion of Leo IV, and the nearby dwarf associations supports our hypothesis