Author Topic: Chiral correlation function of galaxy spins  (Read 1046 times)


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Chiral correlation function of galaxy spins
« on: July 02, 2009, 10:02:31 pm »
Galaxy Zoo: Chiral correlation function of galaxy spins

Anže Slosar1,2,3, Kate Land2, Steven Bamford4,5, Chris Lintott2, Dan Andreescu6, Phil Murray7, Robert Nichol4, M. Jordan Raddick8, Kevin Schawinski9,10,2, Alex Szalay8, Daniel Thomas4, Jan Vandenberg8

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc.), Volume 392 (Issue 3), pages 1225-32 (2009)


Galaxy Zoo is the first study of nearby galaxies that contains reliable information about the spiral sense of rotation of galaxy arms for a sizeable number of galaxies. We measure the correlation function of spin chirality (the sense in which galaxies appear to be spinning) of face-on spiral galaxies in angular, real and projected spaces. Our results indicate a hint of positive correlation at separations less than ~0.5 Mpc at a statistical significance of 2-3 σ. This is the first experimental evidence for chiral correlation of spins. Within tidal torque theory it indicates that the inertia tensors of nearby galaxies are correlated. This is
complementary to the studies of nearby spin axis correlations that probe the correlations of the tidal field. Theoretical interpretation is made difficult by the small distances at which the correlations are detected, implying that substructure might play a significant role, and our necessary selection of face-on spiral galaxies, rather than a general volume-limited sample.

1.  Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics, Lawrence Berkeley Nat. Lab & Phys. Dept, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
2.  Astrophysics Department, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3RH
3.  Faculty of Mathematics & Physics, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
4.  Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, University of Portsmouth, Mercantile House, Hampshire Terrace, Portsmouth, PO1 2EG, UK
5.  Centre for Astronomy and Particle Theory, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK
6.  LinkLab, 4506 Graystone Ave., Bronx, NY 10471, USA
7.  Fingerprint Digital Media, 9 Victoria Close, Newtownards, Co. Down, Northern Ireland, BT23 7GY, UK
8.  Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, Homewood Campus, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
9.  Department of Physics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA
10.  Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Yale University, P.O. Box 208181, New Haven, CT 06520, USA


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