Detecting Effects of Filaments on Galaxy Properties in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III
We study the effects of filaments on galaxy properties in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 12 using filaments from the ‘Cosmic Web Reconstruction’ catalogue (Chen et al. 2015a), a publicly available filament catalogue for SDSS. Since filaments are tracers of medium-to-high density regions, we expect that galaxy properties associated with the environment are dependent on the distance to the nearest filament. Our analysis demonstrates that a red galaxy or a high-mass galaxy tend to reside closer to filaments than a blue or low-mass galaxy. After adjusting the effect from stellar mass, on average, late-forming galaxies or large galaxies have a shorter distance to filaments than early-forming galaxies or small galaxies. For the Main galaxy sample, all signals are very significant (> 5σ). For the LOWZ and CMASS samples, most of the signals are significant (with > 3σ). The filament effects we observe persist until z = 0.7 (the edge of the CMASS sample). Comparing our results to those using the galaxy distances from redMaPPer galaxy clusters as a reference, we find a similar result between filaments and clusters. Our findings illustrate the strong correlation of galaxy properties with proximity to density ridges, strongly supporting the claim that density ridges are good tracers of filaments.