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A systematic look at the effects of radiative feedback on disc galaxy formation


Roskar, R; Teyssier, R; Agertz, O; Wetzstein, M; Moore, B (2014). A systematic look at the effects of radiative feedback on disc galaxy formation. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 444(3):2837-2853.

Abstract

Galaxy formation models and simulations rely on various feedback mechanisms to reproduce the observed baryonic scaling relations and galaxy morphologies. Although dwarf galaxy and giant elliptical properties can be explained using feedback from supernova and active galactic nuclei, Milky Way-sized galaxies still represent a challenge to current theories of galaxy formation. In this paper, we explore the possible role of feedback from stellar radiation in regulating the main properties of disc galaxies such as our own Milky Way. We have performed a suite of cosmological simulations of the same ˜1012 M⊙ halo selected based on its rather typical mass accretion history. We have implemented radiative feedback from young stars using a crude model of radiative transfer for ultraviolet and infrared radiation. However, the model is realistic enough such that the dust opacity plays a direct role in regulating the efficiency of our feedback mechanism. We have explored various models for the dust opacity, assuming different constant dust temperatures, as well as a varying dust temperature model. We find that while strong radiative feedback appears as a viable mechanism to regulate the stellar mass fraction in massive galaxies, it also prevents the formation of discs with reasonable morphologies. In models with strong stellar radiation feedback, stellar discs are systematically too thick while the gas disc morphology is completely destroyed due to the efficient mixing between the feedback-affected gas and its surroundings. At the resolution of our simulation suite, we find it impossible to preserve spiral disc morphology while at the same time expelling enough baryons to satisfy the abundance matching constraints.

Abstract

Galaxy formation models and simulations rely on various feedback mechanisms to reproduce the observed baryonic scaling relations and galaxy morphologies. Although dwarf galaxy and giant elliptical properties can be explained using feedback from supernova and active galactic nuclei, Milky Way-sized galaxies still represent a challenge to current theories of galaxy formation. In this paper, we explore the possible role of feedback from stellar radiation in regulating the main properties of disc galaxies such as our own Milky Way. We have performed a suite of cosmological simulations of the same ˜1012 M⊙ halo selected based on its rather typical mass accretion history. We have implemented radiative feedback from young stars using a crude model of radiative transfer for ultraviolet and infrared radiation. However, the model is realistic enough such that the dust opacity plays a direct role in regulating the efficiency of our feedback mechanism. We have explored various models for the dust opacity, assuming different constant dust temperatures, as well as a varying dust temperature model. We find that while strong radiative feedback appears as a viable mechanism to regulate the stellar mass fraction in massive galaxies, it also prevents the formation of discs with reasonable morphologies. In models with strong stellar radiation feedback, stellar discs are systematically too thick while the gas disc morphology is completely destroyed due to the efficient mixing between the feedback-affected gas and its surroundings. At the resolution of our simulation suite, we find it impossible to preserve spiral disc morphology while at the same time expelling enough baryons to satisfy the abundance matching constraints.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:23 Feb 2015 14:21
Last Modified:27 Apr 2017 23:33
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0035-8711
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stu1548

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