Fossil group origins. XII. The large-scale environment around fossil systems

Zarattini, S.; Aguerri, J. A. L.; Calvi, R.; Girardi, M.
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Astronomy and Astrophysics

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Aims: We analyse the large-scale structure out to 100 Mpc around a sample of 16 confirmed fossil systems using spectroscopic information from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 16.
Methods: We computed the distance between our fossil groups (FGs) and the centres of filaments and nodes from the literature. We also studied the density of bright galaxies, since this parameter is thought to be a good mass tracers, as well as the projected over-densities of galaxies. Finally, we applied a friends-of-friends (FoF) algorithm to detect virialised structures around our FGs and obtain an estimate of the mass available in their surroundings.
Results: We find that FGs are mainly located close to filaments, with a mean distance of 3.7 ± 1.1 R200 and a minimum distance of 0.05 R200. On the other hand, none of our FGs were found close to intersections, with a mean and minimum distance of 19.3 ± 3.6 and 6.1 R200, respectively. There is a correlation that indicates FGs at higher redshifts are found in denser regions, when we use bright galaxies as tracers of the mass. At the same time, FGs with the largest magnitude gaps (Δm12 > 2.5) are found in less dense environments and tend to host (on average) smaller central galaxies.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that FGs formed in a peculiar position within the cosmic web, close to filaments and far from nodes, whereby their interaction with the cosmic web itself may be limited. We deduce that FGs with brightest central galaxies (BCGs) that are relatively faint, high values of Δm12, and low redshifts could, in fact, be systems that are at the very last stage of their evolution. Moreover, we confirm theoretical predictions that systems with the largest magnitude gap are not massive.
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