skip to main content

Title: Realistic mock observations of the sizes and stellar mass surface densities of massive galaxies in FIRE-2 zoom-in simulations
ABSTRACT The galaxy size–stellar mass and central surface density–stellar mass relationships are fundamental observational constraints on galaxy formation models. However, inferring the physical size of a galaxy from observed stellar emission is non-trivial due to various observational effects, such as the mass-to-light ratio variations that can be caused by non-uniform stellar ages, metallicities, and dust attenuation. Consequently, forward-modelling light-based sizes from simulations is desirable. In this work, we use the skirt  dust radiative transfer code to generate synthetic observations of massive galaxies ($M_{*}\sim 10^{11}\, \rm {M_{\odot }}$ at z = 2, hosted by haloes of mass $M_{\rm {halo}}\sim 10^{12.5}\, \rm {M_{\odot }}$) from high-resolution cosmological zoom-in simulations that form part of the Feedback In Realistic Environments project. The simulations used in this paper include explicit stellar feedback but no active galactic nucleus (AGN) feedback. From each mock observation, we infer the effective radius (Re), as well as the stellar mass surface density within this radius and within $1\, \rm {kpc}$ (Σe and Σ1, respectively). We first investigate how well the intrinsic half-mass radius and stellar mass surface density can be inferred from observables. The majority of predicted sizes and surface densities are within a factor of 2 of the intrinsic values. more » We then compare our predictions to the observed size–mass relationship and the Σ1−M⋆ and Σe−M⋆ relationships. At z ≳ 2, the simulated massive galaxies are in general agreement with observational scaling relations. At z ≲ 2, they evolve to become too compact but still star forming, in the stellar mass and redshift regime where many of them should be quenched. Our results suggest that some additional source of feedback, such as AGN-driven outflows, is necessary in order to decrease the central densities of the simulated massive galaxies to bring them into agreement with observations at z ≲ 2. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
2009687 2001905 1715216
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10237289
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume:
501
Issue:
2
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1591 to 1602
ISSN:
0035-8711
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. ABSTRACT We perform a consistent comparison of the mass and mass profiles of massive (M⋆ > 1011.4 M⊙) central galaxies at z ∼ 0.4 from deep Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) observations and from the Illustris, TNG100, and Ponos simulations. Weak lensing measurements from HSC enable measurements at fixed halo mass and provide constraints on the strength and impact of feedback at different halo mass scales. We compare the stellar mass function (SMF) and the Stellar-to-Halo Mass Relation (SHMR) at various radii and show that the radius at which the comparison is performed is important. In general, Illustris and TNG100 display steeper values of α where $M_{\star } \propto M_{\rm vir}^{\alpha }$. These differences are more pronounced for Illustris than for TNG100 and in the inner rather than outer regions of galaxies. Differences in the inner regions may suggest that TNG100 is too efficient at quenching in situ star formation at Mvir ≃ 1013 M⊙ but not efficient enough at Mvir ≃ 1014 M⊙. The outer stellar masses are in excellent agreement with our observations at Mvir ≃ 1013 M⊙, but both Illustris and TNG100 display excess outer mass as Mvir ≃ 1014 M⊙ (by ∼0.25 and ∼0.12 dex, respectively). We argue that reducing stellar growth at earlymore »times in $M_\star \sim 10^{9-10} \, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$ galaxies would help to prevent excess ex-situ growth at this mass scale. The Ponos simulations do not implement AGN feedback and display an excess mass of ∼0.5 dex at r < 30 kpc compared to HSC which is indicative of overcooling and excess star formation in the central regions. The comparison of the inner profiles of Ponos and HSC suggests that the physical scale over which the central AGN limits star formation is r ≲ 20 kpc. Joint comparisons between weak lensing and galaxy stellar profiles are a direct test of whether simulations build and deposit galaxy mass in the correct dark matter haloes and thereby provide powerful constraints on the physics of feedback and galaxy growth. Our galaxy and weak lensing profiles are publicly available to facilitate comparisons with other simulations.« less
  2. ABSTRACT

    We introduce a new set of zoom-in cosmological simulations with sub-pc resolution, intended to model extremely faint, highly magnified star-forming stellar clumps, detected at z = 6.14 thanks to gravitational lensing. The simulations include feedback from individual massive stars (in both the pre-supernova and supernova phases), generated via stochastic, direct sampling of the stellar initial mass function. We adopt a modified ‘delayed cooling’ feedback scheme, specifically created to prevent artificial radiative loss of the energy injected by individual stars in very dense gas (n ∼ 103–105 cm−3). The sites where star formation ignites are characterized by maximum densities of the order of 105 cm−3 and gravitational pressures Pgrav/k >107 K cm−3, corresponding to the values of the local, turbulent regions where the densest stellar aggregates form. The total stellar mass at z = 6.14 is 3.4$\times 10^7~\rm M_{\odot }$, in satisfactory agreement with the observed stellar mass of the observed systems. The most massive clumps have masses of $\sim 10^6~\rm M_{\odot }$ and half-mass sizes of ∼100 pc. These sizes are larger than the observed ones, including also other samples of lensed high-redshift clumps, and imply an average density one orders of magnitude lower than the observed one. In the size–mass plane, ourmore »clumps populate a sequence that is intermediate between the ones of observed high-redshift clumps and local dSph galaxies.

    « less
  3. ABSTRACT

    Galaxy sizes correlate closely with the sizes of their parent dark matter haloes, suggesting a link between halo formation and galaxy growth. However, the precise nature of this relation and its scatter remains to be understood fully, especially for low-mass galaxies. We analyse the galaxy–halo size relation (GHSR) for low-mass ($M_\star \sim 10^{7-9}\, {\rm M}_\odot$) central galaxies over the past 12.5 billion years with the help of cosmological volume simulations (FIREbox) from the Feedback in Realistic Environments (FIRE) project. We find a nearly linear relationship between the half-stellar mass galaxy size R1/2 and the parent dark matter halo virial radius Rvir. This relation evolves only weakly since redshift z = 5: $R_{1/2}\, [{\rm kpc}] = (0.053\pm 0.002)(R_{\rm vir}/35\, {\rm kpc})^{0.934\pm 0.054}$, with a nearly constant scatter $\langle \sigma \rangle = 0.084\, [{\rm dex}]$. While this ratio is similar to what is expected from models where galaxy disc sizes are set by halo angular momentum, the low-mass galaxies in our sample are not angular momentum supported, with stellar rotational to circular velocity ratios vrot/vcirc ∼ 0.15. Introducing redshift as another parameter to the GHSR does not decrease the scatter. Furthermore, this scatter does not correlate with any of the halo propertiesmore »we investigate – including spin and concentration – suggesting that baryonic processes and feedback physics are instead critical in setting the scatter in the GHSR. Given the relatively small scatter and the weak dependence of the GHSR on redshift and halo properties for these low-mass central galaxies, we propose using galaxy sizes as an independent method from stellar masses to infer halo masses.

    « less
  4. ABSTRACT We present a comparison of galaxy atomic and molecular gas properties in three recent cosmological hydrodynamic simulations, namely SIMBA, EAGLE, and IllustrisTNG, versus observations from z ∼ 0 to 2. These simulations all rely on similar subresolution prescriptions to model cold interstellar gas that they cannot represent directly, and qualitatively reproduce the observed z ≈ 0 H i and H2 mass functions (HIMFs and H2MFs, respectively), CO(1–0) luminosity functions (COLFs), and gas scaling relations versus stellar mass, specific star formation rate, and stellar surface density μ*, with some quantitative differences. To compare to the COLF, we apply an H2-to-CO conversion factor to the simulated galaxies based on their average molecular surface density and metallicity, yielding substantial variations in αCO and significant differences between models. Using this, predicted z = 0 COLFs agree better with data than predicted H2MFs. Out to z ∼ 2, EAGLE’s and SIMBA’s HIMFs and COLFs strongly increase, while IllustrisTNG’s HIMF declines and COLF evolves slowly. EAGLE and simba reproduce high-LCO(1–0) galaxies at z ∼ 1–2 as observed, owing partly to a median αCO(z = 2) ∼ 1 versus αCO(z = 0) ∼ 3. Examining H i, H2, and CO scaling relations, their trends with M* are broadly reproduced inmore »all models, but EAGLE yields too little H i in green valley galaxies, IllustrisTNG and SIMBA overproduce cold gas in massive galaxies, and SIMBA overproduces molecular gas in small systems. Using SIMBA variants that exclude individual active galactic nucleus (AGN) feedback modules, we find that SIMBA’s AGN jet feedback is primarily responsible by lowering cold gas contents from z ∼ 1 → 0 by suppressing cold gas in $M_*\gtrsim 10^{10}{\rm \,M}_\odot$ galaxies, while X-ray feedback suppresses the formation of high-μ* systems.« less
  5. ABSTRACT

    Recent years have seen growing interest in post-processing cosmological simulations with radiative transfer codes to predict observable fluxes for simulated galaxies. However, this can be slow, and requires a number of assumptions in cases where simulations do not resolve the interstellar medium (ISM). Zoom-in simulations better resolve the detailed structure of the ISM and the geometry of stars and gas; however, statistics are limited due to the computational cost of simulating even a single halo. In this paper, we make use of a set of high-resolution, cosmological zoom-in simulations of massive ($M_{\star }\gtrsim 10^{10.5}\, \rm {M_{\odot }}$ at z = 2), star-forming galaxies from the FIRE suite. We run the skirt radiative transfer code on hundreds of snapshots in the redshift range 1.5 < z < 5 and calibrate a power-law scaling relation between dust mass, star formation rate, and $870\, \mu \rm {m}$ flux density. The derived scaling relation shows encouraging consistency with observational results from the sub-millimetre-selected AS2UDS sample. We extend this to other wavelengths, deriving scaling relations between dust mass, stellar mass, star formation rate, and redshift and sub-millimetre flux density at observed-frame wavelengths between $\sim \! 340$ and $\sim \! 870\, \mu \rm {m}$. Wemore »then apply the scaling relations to galaxies drawn from EAGLE, a large box cosmological simulation. We show that the scaling relations predict EAGLE sub-millimetre number counts that agree well with previous results that were derived using far more computationally expensive radiative transfer techniques. Our scaling relations can be applied to other simulations and semi-analytical or semi-empirical models to generate robust and fast predictions for sub-millimetre number counts.

    « less