This content will become publicly available on December 1, 2022

Reconstructing the Last Major Merger of the Milky Way with the H3 Survey
Abstract Several lines of evidence suggest that the Milky Way underwent a major merger at z ∼ 2 with the Gaia-Sausage-Enceladus (GSE) galaxy. Here we use H3 Survey data to argue that GSE entered the Galaxy on a retrograde orbit based on a population of highly retrograde stars with chemistry similar to the largely radial GSE debris. We present the first tailored N -body simulations of the merger. From a grid of ≈500 simulations we find that a GSE with M ⋆ = 5 × 10 8 M ⊙ , M DM = 2 × 10 11 M ⊙ best matches the H3 data. This simulation shows that the retrograde stars are stripped from GSE’s outer disk early in the merger. Despite being selected purely on angular momenta and radial distributions, this simulation reproduces and explains the following phenomena: (i) the triaxial shape of the inner halo, whose major axis is at ≈35° to the plane and connects GSE’s apocenters; (ii) the Hercules-Aquila Cloud and the Virgo Overdensity, which arise due to apocenter pileup; and (iii) the 2 Gyr lag between the quenching of GSE and the truncation of the age distribution of the in situ halo, which tracks the more »
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10341539
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Volume:
923
Issue:
1
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
92
ISSN:
0004-637X
1. ABSTRACT We study stellar-halo formation using six Milky-Way-mass galaxies in FIRE-2 cosmological zoom simulations. We find that $5{-}40{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ of the outer (50–300 kpc) stellar halo in each system consists of in-situ stars that were born in outflows from the main galaxy. Outflow stars originate from gas accelerated by superbubble winds, which can be compressed, cool, and form co-moving stars. The majority of these stars remain bound to the halo and fall back with orbital properties similar to the rest of the stellar halo at z = 0. In the outer halo, outflow stars are more spatially homogeneous, metal-rich, and alpha-element-enhanced than the accreted stellar halo. At the solar location, up to $\sim \!10 {{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ of our kinematically identified halo stars were born in outflows; the fraction rises to as high as $\sim \!40{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ for the most metal-rich local halo stars ([Fe/H] >−0.5). Such stars can be retrograde and create features similar to the recently discovered Milky Way ‘Splash’ in phase space. We conclude that the Milky Way stellar halo could contain local counterparts to stars that are observed to form in molecular outflows in distant galaxies. Searches for such a population may provide amore »
3. 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 »
4. ABSTRACT We use FIRE simulations to study disc formation in z ∼ 0, Milky Way-mass galaxies, and conclude that a key ingredient for the formation of thin stellar discs is the ability for accreting gas to develop an aligned angular momentum distribution via internal cancellation prior to joining the galaxy. Among galaxies with a high fraction ($\gt 70{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$) of their young stars in a thin disc (h/R ∼ 0.1), we find that: (i) hot, virial-temperature gas dominates the inflowing gas mass on halo scales (≳20 kpc), with radiative losses offset by compression heating; (ii) this hot accretion proceeds until angular momentum support slows inward motion, at which point the gas cools to $\lesssim 10^4\, {\rm K}$; (iii) prior to cooling, the accreting gas develops an angular momentum distribution that is aligned with the galaxy disc, and while cooling transitions from a quasi-spherical spatial configuration to a more-flattened, disc-like configuration. We show that the existence of this ‘rotating cooling flow’ accretion mode is strongly correlated with the fraction of stars forming in a thin disc, using a sample of 17 z ∼ 0 galaxies spanning a halo mass range of 1010.5 M⊙ ≲ Mh ≲ 1012 M⊙ and stellarmore »
5. ABSTRACT The characteristics of the stellar populations in the Galactic bulge inform and constrain the Milky Way’s formation and evolution. The metal-poor population is particularly important in light of cosmological simulations, which predict that some of the oldest stars in the Galaxy now reside in its centre. The metal-poor bulge appears to consist of multiple stellar populations that require dynamical analyses to disentangle. In this work, we undertake a detailed chemodynamical study of the metal-poor stars in the inner Galaxy. Using R ∼ 20 000 VLT/GIRAFFE spectra of 319 metal-poor (−2.55 dex ≤ [Fe/H] ≤ 0.83 dex, with $\overline{\rm {[Fe/H]}}$ = −0.84 dex) stars, we perform stellar parameter analysis and report 12 elemental abundances (C, Na, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Sc, Ti, Cr, Mn, Zn, Ba, and Ce) with precisions of ≈0.10 dex. Based on kinematic and spatial properties, we categorize the stars into four groups, associated with the following Galactic structures: the inner bulge, the outer bulge, the halo, and the disc. We find evidence that the inner and outer bulge population is more chemically complex (i.e. higher chemical dimensionality and less correlated abundances) than the halo population. This result suggests that the older bulge population was enriched by amore »