Star formation histories of dwarf galaxies in the FIRE simulations: dependence on mass and Local Group environment
ABSTRACT We study star formation histories (SFHs) of 500 dwarf galaxies (stellar mass $M_\ast =10^5\!-\!10^9\, \rm {M}_\odot$) 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–$10^7\, \rm {M}_\odot$ 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 more »
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10174835
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume:
489
Issue:
4
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
4574 to 4588
ISSN:
0035-8711
National Science Foundation
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1. ABSTRACT

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2. ABSTRACT

We study a suite of extremely high-resolution cosmological Feedback in Realistic Environments simulations of dwarf galaxies ($M_{\rm halo} \lesssim 10^{10}\rm \, M_{\odot }$), run to z = 0 with $30\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$ resolution, sufficient (for the first time) to resolve the internal structure of individual supernovae remnants within the cooling radius. Every halo with $M_{\rm halo} \gtrsim 10^{8.6}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$ is populated by a resolved stellar galaxy, suggesting very low-mass dwarfs may be ubiquitous in the field. Our ultra-faint dwarfs (UFDs; $M_{\ast }\lt 10^{5}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$) have their star formation (SF) truncated early (z ≳ 2), likely by reionization, while classical dwarfs ($M_{\ast }\gt 10^{5}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$) continue forming stars to z < 0.5. The systems have bursty star formation histories, forming most of their stars in periods of elevated SF strongly clustered in both space and time. This allows our dwarf with M*/Mhalo > 10−4 to form a dark matter core ${\gt}200\rm \, pc$, while lower mass UFDs exhibit cusps down to ${\lesssim}100\rm \, pc$, as expected from energetic arguments. Our dwarfs with $M_{\ast }\gt 10^{4}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$ have half-mass radii (R1/2) in agreement with Local Group (LG) dwarfs (dynamical mass versus R1/2 and stellar rotation also resemble observations).more »

3. ABSTRACT

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4. ABSTRACT Surveys of the Milky Way (MW) and M31 enable detailed studies of stellar populations across ages and metallicities, with the goal of reconstructing formation histories across cosmic time. These surveys motivate key questions for galactic archaeology in a cosmological context: When did the main progenitor of an MW/M31-mass galaxy form, and what were the galactic building blocks that formed it? We investigate the formation times and progenitor galaxies of MW/M31-mass galaxies using the Feedback In Realistic Environments-2 cosmological simulations, including six isolated MW/M31-mass galaxies and six galaxies in Local Group (LG)-like pairs at z = 0. We examine main progenitor ‘formation’ based on two metrics: (1) transition from primarily ex-situ to in-situ stellar mass growth and (2) mass dominance compared to other progenitors. We find that the main progenitor of an MW/M31-mass galaxy emerged typically at z ∼ 3–4 ($11.6\!\!-\!\!12.2\, \rm {Gyr}$ ago), while stars in the bulge region (inner 2 kpc) at z = 0 formed primarily in a single main progenitor at z ≲ 5 (${\lesssim} \!12.6\, \rm {Gyr}$ ago). Compared with isolated hosts, the main progenitors of LG-like paired hosts emerged significantly earlier (Δz ∼ 2, $\Delta t\!\sim \!1.6\, \rm {Gyr}$), with ∼4× higher stellar mass at all zmore »
5. (Ed.)
ABSTRACT We examine the prevalence, longevity, and causes of planes of satellite dwarf galaxies, as observed in the Local Group. We use 14 Milky Way/Andromeda-(MW/M31) mass host galaxies from the Feedback In Realistic Environments-2 simulations. We select the 14 most massive satellites by stellar mass within $d_\mathrm{host}\le 300\mathrm{\, kpc}$ of each host and correct for incompleteness from the foreground galactic disc when comparing to the MW. We find that MW-like planes as spatially thin and/or kinematically coherent as observed are uncommon, but they do exist in our simulations. Spatially thin planes occur in 1–2 per cent of snapshots during z = 0−0.2, and kinematically coherent planes occur in 5 per cent of snapshots. These planes are generally transient, surviving for <500 Myr. However, if we select hosts with a Large Magellanic Cloud-like satellite near first pericentre, the fraction of snapshots with MW-like planes increases dramatically to 7–16 per cent, with lifetimes of  0.7–1 Gyr, likely because of group accretion of satellites. We find that M31’s satellite distribution is much more common: M31’s satellites lie within ∼1σ of the simulation median for every plane metric we consider. We find no significant difference in average satellite planarity for isolated hosts versus hosts in LG-like pairs. Baryonic and dark matter-only simulations exhibitmore »