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Statistics of Galaxy Orientations: Morphology and the Large Scale Structure

  • D. G. Lambas (a1), E. J. Groth (a1) and P. J. E. Peebles (a1)

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Using the Uppsala General Catalog of bright galaxies (Nilson, 1973) and the northern and southern galaxy maps (Seldner, et al., 1977) made from the Lick counts (Shane and Wirtanen, 1967), we find statistical evidence of a morphology-orientation effect. Our results indicate that elliptical galaxies are preferentially oriented along the large scale features of the Lick maps. However, position angles of spiral and SO galaxies show no clear signs of non-random behavior. The angular scale of the detected alignment effect for ellipticals is θ ∼ 2 to 4°, which at a redshift of Z ∼ .03 (which comprises the depths of both catalogs) corresponds to a linear scale of ∼ 3 to 6 h−1 Mpc.

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* Fellow of the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas, CONICET, Argentina

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