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Star formation histories of dwarf galaxies in the FIRE simulations: dependence on mass and Local Group environment


Garrison-Kimmel, Shea; Wetzel, Andrew; Hopkins, Philip F; Sanderson, Robyn; El-Badry, Kareem; Graus, Andrew; Chan, T K; Feldmann, Robert; Boylan-Kolchin, Michael; Hayward, Christopher C; Bullock, James S; Fitts, Alex; Samuel, Jenna; Wheeler, Coral; Kereš, Dušan; Faucher-Giguère, Claude-André (2019). Star formation histories of dwarf galaxies in the FIRE simulations: dependence on mass and Local Group environment. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 489(4):4574-4588.

Abstract

We study star formation histories (SFHs) of 500 dwarf galaxies (stellar mass M∗=105−109M⊙⁠) from FIRE-2 cosmological zoom-in simulations. We compare dwarfs around individual Milky Way (MW)-mass galaxies, dwarfs in Local Group (LG)-like environments, and true field (i.e. isolated) dwarf galaxies. We reproduce observed trends wherein higher mass dwarfs quench later (if at all), regardless of environment. We also identify differences between the environments, both in terms of ‘satellite versus central’ and ‘LG versus individual MW versus isolated dwarf central.’ Around the individual MW-mass hosts, we recover the result expected from environmental quenching: central galaxies in the ‘near field’ have more extended SFHs than their satellite counterparts, with the former more closely resemble isolated (true field) dwarfs (though near-field centrals are still somewhat earlier forming). However, this difference is muted in the LG-like environments, where both near-field centrals and satellites have similar SFHs, which resemble satellites of single MW-mass hosts. This distinction is strongest for M* = 106–107M⊙ but exists at other masses. Our results suggest that the paired halo nature of the LG may regulate star formation in dwarf galaxies even beyond the virial radii of the MW and Andromeda. Caution is needed when comparing zoom-in simulations targeting isolated dwarf galaxies against observed dwarf galaxies in the LG.

Abstract

We study star formation histories (SFHs) of 500 dwarf galaxies (stellar mass M∗=105−109M⊙⁠) from FIRE-2 cosmological zoom-in simulations. We compare dwarfs around individual Milky Way (MW)-mass galaxies, dwarfs in Local Group (LG)-like environments, and true field (i.e. isolated) dwarf galaxies. We reproduce observed trends wherein higher mass dwarfs quench later (if at all), regardless of environment. We also identify differences between the environments, both in terms of ‘satellite versus central’ and ‘LG versus individual MW versus isolated dwarf central.’ Around the individual MW-mass hosts, we recover the result expected from environmental quenching: central galaxies in the ‘near field’ have more extended SFHs than their satellite counterparts, with the former more closely resemble isolated (true field) dwarfs (though near-field centrals are still somewhat earlier forming). However, this difference is muted in the LG-like environments, where both near-field centrals and satellites have similar SFHs, which resemble satellites of single MW-mass hosts. This distinction is strongest for M* = 106–107M⊙ but exists at other masses. Our results suggest that the paired halo nature of the LG may regulate star formation in dwarf galaxies even beyond the virial radii of the MW and Andromeda. Caution is needed when comparing zoom-in simulations targeting isolated dwarf galaxies against observed dwarf galaxies in the LG.

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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
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Astronomy and Astrophysics
Physical Sciences > Space and Planetary Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Space and Planetary Science, Astronomy and Astrophysics
Language:English
Date:11 November 2019
Deposited On:14 Feb 2020 08:17
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 13:42
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0035-8711
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stz2507
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDPP00P2_157591
  • : Project TitleAiming for the Parsec Scale - Star Formation and Feedback Processes in High Redshift Galaxies

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