skip to main content

Title: The ASTRID simulation: galaxy formation and reionization

We introduce the Astrid  simulation, a large-scale cosmological hydrodynamic simulation in a $250 \, h^{-1}\mathrm{Mpc}$ box with 2 × 55003 particles. Astrid contains a large number of high redshift galaxies, which can be compared to future survey data, and resolves galaxies in haloes more massive than $2\times 10^9 \, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$. Astrid  has been run from z = 99 to 3. As a particular focus is modelling the high redshift Universe, it contains models for inhomogeneous hydrogen and helium reionization, baryon relative velocities and massive neutrinos, as well as supernova and AGN feedback. The black hole model includes mergers driven by dynamical friction rather than repositioning. We briefly summarize the implemented models, and the technical choices we took when developing the simulation code. We validate the model, showing good agreement with observed ultraviolet luminosity functions, galaxy stellar mass functions and specific star formation rates (SFRs). We show that the redshift at which a given galaxy underwent hydrogen reionization has a large effect on the halo gas fraction. Finally, at z = 6, haloes with $M \sim 2\times 10^9 \, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$ which have been reionized have an SFR 1.5 times greater than those which have not yet been reionized.

; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
p. 3703-3716
Oxford University Press
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this

    Our understanding of reionization has advanced considerably over the past decade, with several results now demonstrating that the intergalactic medium transitioned from substantially neutral at z = 7 to largely reionized at z = 6. However, little remains known about the sizes of ionized bubbles at z ≳ 7 as well as the galaxy overdensities which drive their growth. Fortunately, rest-ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopic observations offer a pathway towards characterizing these ionized bubbles thanks to the resonant nature of Lyman-alpha photons. In a previous work, we presented Ly α detections from three closely separated Lyman-break galaxies at z ≃ 6.8, suggesting the presence of a large (R > 1 physical Mpc) ionized bubble in the 1.5 deg2 COSMOS field. Here, we present new deep Ly α spectra of 10 UV-bright ($\mathrm{\mathit{ M}}_{\mathrm{UV}}^{} \le -20.4$) z ≃ 6.6–6.9 galaxies in the surrounding area, enabling us to better characterize this potential ionized bubble. We confidently detect (S/N > 7) Ly α emission at z = 6.701–6.882 in nine of ten observed galaxies, revealing that the large-scale volume spanned by these sources (characteristic radius R = 3.2 physical Mpc) traces a strong galaxy overdensity (N/〈N〉 ≳ 3). Our data additionally confirm that the Lymore »α emission of UV-bright galaxies in this volume is significantly enhanced, with 40 per cent (4/10) showing strong Ly α emission (equivalent width >25 Å) compared to the 8–9 per cent found on average at z ∼ 7. The median Ly α equivalent width of our observed galaxies is also ≈2 times that typical at z ∼ 7, consistent with expectations if a very large (R ∼ 3 physical Mpc) ionized bubble is allowing the Ly α photons to cosmologically redshift far into the damping wing before encountering H i.

    « less

    We present band 6 ALMA observations of a heavily obscured radio-loud (L1.4 GHz = 1025.4 W Hz−1) active galactic nucleus (AGN) candidate at zphot = 6.83 ± 0.06 found in the 1.5 deg2 COSMOS field. The ALMA data reveal detections of exceptionally strong [C ii]158 $\mu$m (z[C ii] = 6.8532) and underlying dust continuum emission from this object (COS-87259), where the [C ii] line luminosity, line width, and 158 $\mu$m continuum luminosity are comparable to those seen from z ∼ 7 sub-mm galaxies and quasar hosts. The 158 $\mu$m continuum detection suggests a total infrared luminosity of $9\times 10^{12}\, \mathrm{ L}_\odot$ with corresponding very large obscured star formation rate (1300 M⊙ yr−1) and dust mass ($2\times 10^9\, \mathrm{ M}_\odot$). The strong break seen between the VIRCam and IRAC photometry perhaps suggests that COS-87259 is an extremely massive reionization-era galaxy with $M_\ast \approx 1.7\times 10^{11}\, \mathrm{ M}_\odot$. Moreover, the MIPS, PACS, and SPIRE detections imply that this object harbours an AGN that is heavily obscured ($\tau _{_{\mathrm{9.7\,\mu m}}}=2.3$) with a bolometric luminosity of approximately $5\times 10^{13}\, \mathrm{ L}_\odot$. Such a very high AGN luminosity suggests that this object is powered by an ≈1.6 × 10$^9\, \mathrm{ M}_\odot$ black hole if accreting near the Eddington limit, and is effectively a highly obscured version of an extremely ultravioletmore »(UV)-luminous (M1450 ≈ −27.3) z ∼ 7 quasar. Notably, these z ∼ 7 quasars are an exceedingly rare population (∼0.001 deg−2), while COS-87259 was identified over a relatively small field. Future very wide area surveys with e.g. Roman and Euclid have the potential to identify many more extremely red yet UV-bright z ≳ 7 objects similar to COS-87259, providing richer insight into the occurrence of intense obscured star formation and supermassive black hole growth among this population.

    « less

    We introduce the thesan project, a suite of large volume ($L_\mathrm{box} = 95.5 \, \mathrm{cMpc}$) radiation-magnetohydrodynamic simulations that simultaneously model the large-scale statistical properties of the intergalactic medium during reionization and the resolved characteristics of the galaxies responsible for it. The flagship simulation has dark matter and baryonic mass resolutions of $3.1 \times 10^6\, {\rm M_\odot }$ and $5.8 \times 10^5\, {\rm M_\odot }$, respectively. The gravitational forces are softened on scales of 2.2 ckpc with the smallest cell sizes reaching 10 pc at z = 5.5, enabling predictions down to the atomic cooling limit. The simulations use an efficient radiation hydrodynamics solver (arepo-rt) that precisely captures the interaction between ionizing photons and gas, coupled to well-tested galaxy formation (IllustrisTNG) and dust models to accurately predict the properties of galaxies. Through a complementary set of medium resolution simulations we investigate the changes to reionization introduced by different assumptions for ionizing escape fractions, varying dark matter models, and numerical convergence. The fiducial simulation and model variations are calibrated to produce realistic reionization histories that match the observed evolution of the global neutral hydrogen fraction and electron scattering optical depth to reionization. They also match a wealth of high-redshift observationally inferred data, including themore »stellar-to-halo-mass relation, galaxy stellar mass function, star formation rate density, and the mass–metallicity relation, despite the galaxy formation model being mainly calibrated at z = 0. We demonstrate that different reionization models give rise to varied bubble size distributions that imprint unique signatures on the 21 cm emission, especially on the slope of the power spectrum at large spatial scales, enabling current and upcoming 21 cm experiments to accurately characterize the sources that dominate the ionizing photon budget.

    « less

    Current observations favour that the massive ultraviolet-bright clumps with a median stellar mass of $\sim 10^7\, {\rm M}_{\odot }$, ubiquitously observed in z ∼ 1–3 galaxies, are star-forming regions formed in situ in galaxies. It has been proposed that they result from gas fragmentation due to gravitational instability of gas-rich, turbulent, and high-redshift discs. We bring support to this scenario by reporting the new discovery of giant molecular clouds (GMCs) in the strongly lensed, clumpy, main-sequence galaxy, A521-sys1, at z = 1.043. Its CO(4–3) emission was mapped with the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) at an angular resolution of 0.19 × 0.16 arcsec2, reading down to 30 pc, thanks to gravitational lensing. We identified 14 GMCs, most being virialized, with $10^{5.9}-10^{7.9}\, {\rm M}_{\odot }$ masses and a median $800\, {\rm M}_{\odot }~\mathrm{pc}^{-2}$ molecular gas mass surface density, that are, respectively, 100 and 10 times higher than for nearby GMCs. They are also characterized by 10 times higher supersonic turbulence with a median Mach number of 60. They end up to fall above the Larson scaling relations, similarly to the GMCs in another clumpy z ≃ 1 galaxy, the Cosmic Snake, although differences between the two sets of high-redshift GMCs exist. Altogether theymore »support that GMCs form with properties that adjust to the ambient interstellar medium conditions prevalent in the host galaxy whatever its redshift. The detected A521-sys1 GMCs are massive enough to be the parent gas clouds of stellar clumps, with a relatively high star formation efficiency per free-fall time of ∼11 per cent.

    « less
  5. ABSTRACT We explore the isothermal total density profiles of early-type galaxies (ETGs) in the IllustrisTNG simulation. For the selected 559 ETGs at z = 0 with stellar masses $10^{10.7}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot } \leqslant M_{\ast } \leqslant 10^{11.9}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$, the total power-law slope has a mean of 〈γ′〉 = 2.011 ± 0.007 and a scatter of $\sigma _{\gamma ^{\prime }} = 0.171$ over the radial range 0.4–4 times the stellar half-mass radius. Several correlations between γ′ and galactic properties including stellar mass, effective radius, stellar surface density, central velocity dispersion, central dark matter fraction, and in situ-formed stellar mass ratio are compared to observations and other simulations, revealing that IllustrisTNG reproduces many correlation trends, and in particular, γ′ is almost constant with redshift below z = 2. Through analysing IllustrisTNG model variations, we show that black hole kinetic winds are crucial to lowering γ′ and matching observed galaxy correlations. The effects of stellar winds on γ′ are subdominant compared to active galactic nucleus (AGN) feedback, and differ due to the presence of AGN feedback from previous works. The density profiles of the ETG dark matter haloes are well described by steeper than NFW profiles, and they are steeper in the full physics (FP) run than their counterpartsmore »in the dark matter-only (DMO) run. Their inner density slopes anticorrelate (remain constant) with the halo mass in the FP (DMO) run, and anticorrelate with the halo concentration parameter c200 in both the types of runs. The dark matter haloes of low-mass ETGs are contracted whereas high-mass ETGs are expanded, suggesting that variations in the total density profile occur through the different halo responses to baryons.« less