In Space Science Reviews

For a PDF version of the article, click here.


Benjamin Joachimi, Marcello Cacciato, Thomas D. Kitching, Adrienne Leonard, Rachel Mandelbaum, Björn Malte Schäfer, Cristóbal Sifón, Henk Hoekstra, Alina Kiessling, Donnacha Kirk, Anais Rassat

1 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
2 Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA, Leiden, the Netherlands
3 Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, Holmbury St Mary, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6NT, UK
4 McWilliams Center for Cosmology, Department of Physics, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
5 Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Astronomisches Recheninstitut, Philosophenweg 12, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
6 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA, 91109, USA
7 Laboratoire d'astrophysique (LASTRO), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Observatoire de Sauverny, CH-1290 Versoix, Switzerland

Abstract: The alignments between galaxies, their underlying matter structures, and the cosmic web constitute vital ingredients for a comprehensive understanding of gravity, the nature of matter, and structure formation in the Universe. We provide an overview on the state of the art in the study of these alignment processes and their observational signatures, aimed at a non-specialist audience. The development of the field over the past one hundred years is briefly reviewed. We also discuss the impact of galaxy alignments on measurements of weak gravitational lensing, and discuss avenues for making theoretical and observational progress over the coming decade.

Keywords: galaxies: evolution; galaxies: haloes; galaxies: interactions; large-scale structure of Universe; gravitational lensing: weak

Table of Contents