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  1. ABSTRACT We analyse the cold dark matter density profiles of 54 galaxy haloes simulated with Feedback In Realistic Environments (FIRE)-2 galaxy formation physics, each resolved within $0.5{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ of the halo virial radius. These haloes contain galaxies with masses that range from ultrafaint dwarfs ($M_\star \simeq 10^{4.5}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$) to the largest spirals ($M_\star \simeq 10^{11}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$) and have density profiles that are both cored and cuspy. We characterize our results using a new, analytic density profile that extends the standard two-parameter Einasto form to allow for a pronounced constant density core in the resolved innermost radius. With one additional core-radius parameter, rc, this three-parameter core-Einasto profile is able to characterize our feedback-impacted dark matter haloes more accurately than other three-parameter profiles proposed in the literature. To enable comparisons with observations, we provide fitting functions for rc and other profile parameters as a function of both M⋆ and M⋆/Mhalo. In agreement with past studies, we find that dark matter core formation is most efficient at the characteristic stellar-to-halo mass ratio M⋆/Mhalo ≃ 5 × 10−3, or $M_{\star } \sim 10^9 \, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$, with cores that are roughly the size of the galaxy half-light radius, rc ≃ 1−5 kpc. Furthermore,more »we find no evidence for core formation at radii $\gtrsim 100\ \rm pc$ in galaxies with M⋆/Mhalo < 5 × 10−4 or $M_\star \lesssim 10^6 \, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$. For Milky Way-size galaxies, baryonic contraction often makes haloes significantly more concentrated and dense at the stellar half-light radius than DMO runs. However, even at the Milky Way scale, FIRE-2 galaxy formation still produces small dark matter cores of ≃ 0.5−2 kpc in size. Recent evidence for a ∼2 kpc core in the Milky Way’s dark matter halo is consistent with this expectation.« less
  2. ABSTRACT We present and study a large suite of high-resolution cosmological zoom-in simulations, using the FIRE-2 treatment of mechanical and radiative feedback from massive stars, together with explicit treatment of magnetic fields, anisotropic conduction and viscosity (accounting for saturation and limitation by plasma instabilities at high β), and cosmic rays (CRs) injected in supernovae shocks (including anisotropic diffusion, streaming, adiabatic, hadronic and Coulomb losses). We survey systems from ultrafaint dwarf ($M_{\ast }\sim 10^{4}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$, $M_{\rm halo}\sim 10^{9}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$) through Milky Way/Local Group (MW/LG) masses, systematically vary uncertain CR parameters (e.g. the diffusion coefficient κ and streaming velocity), and study a broad ensemble of galaxy properties [masses, star formation (SF) histories, mass profiles, phase structure, morphologies, etc.]. We confirm previous conclusions that magnetic fields, conduction, and viscosity on resolved ($\gtrsim 1\,$ pc) scales have only small effects on bulk galaxy properties. CRs have relatively weak effects on all galaxy properties studied in dwarfs ($M_{\ast } \ll 10^{10}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$, $M_{\rm halo} \lesssim 10^{11}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$), or at high redshifts (z ≳ 1–2), for any physically reasonable parameters. However, at higher masses ($M_{\rm halo} \gtrsim 10^{11}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$) and z ≲ 1–2, CRs can suppress SF and stellar masses by factorsmore »∼2–4, given reasonable injection efficiencies and relatively high effective diffusion coefficients $\kappa \gtrsim 3\times 10^{29}\, {\rm cm^{2}\, s^{-1}}$. At lower κ, CRs take too long to escape dense star-forming gas and lose their energy to collisional hadronic losses, producing negligible effects on galaxies and violating empirical constraints from spallation and γ-ray emission. At much higher κ CRs escape too efficiently to have appreciable effects even in the CGM. But around $\kappa \sim 3\times 10^{29}\, {\rm cm^{2}\, s^{-1}}$, CRs escape the galaxy and build up a CR-pressure-dominated halo which maintains approximate virial equilibrium and supports relatively dense, cool (T ≪ 106 K) gas that would otherwise rain on to the galaxy. CR ‘heating’ (from collisional and streaming losses) is never dominant.« less
  3. ABSTRACT A standard prediction of galaxy formation theory is that the ionizing background suppresses galaxy formation in haloes with peak circular velocities smaller than $V_{\rm peak}\simeq 20 \, \rm km \, s^{-1}$, rendering the majority of haloes below this scale completely dark. We use a suite of cosmological zoom simulations of Milky Way-like haloes that include central Milky Way disc galaxy potentials to investigate the relationship between subhaloes and ultrafaint galaxies. We find that there are far too few subhaloes within 50 kpc of the Milky Way that had $V_{\rm peak}\gtrsim 20\, \rm km \, s^{-1}$ to account for the number of ultrafaint galaxies already known within that volume today. In order to match the observed count, we must populate subhaloes down to $V_{\rm peak}\simeq 6\, \rm km \, s^{-1}$ with ultrafaint dwarfs. The required haloes have peak virial temperatures as low as 1500 K, well below the atomic hydrogen cooling limit of 104 K. Allowing for the possibility that the Large Magellanic Cloud contributes several of the satellites within 50 kpc could potentially raise this threshold to $10\, \rm km \, s^{-1}$ (4000 K), still below the atomic cooling limit and far below the nominal reionization threshold.
  4. ABSTRACT We present a suite of FIRE-2 cosmological zoom-in simulations of isolated field dwarf galaxies, all with masses of $M_{\rm halo} \approx 10^{10}\, {\rm M}_{\odot }$ at z = 0, across a range of dark matter models. For the first time, we compare how both self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) and/or warm dark matter (WDM) models affect the assembly histories as well as the central density structure in fully hydrodynamical simulations of dwarfs. Dwarfs with smaller stellar half-mass radii (r1/2 < 500 pc) have lower σ⋆/Vmax ratios, reinforcing the idea that smaller dwarfs may reside in haloes that are more massive than is naively expected. The majority of dwarfs simulated with self-interactions actually experience contraction of their inner density profiles with the addition of baryons relative to the cores produced in dark-matter-only runs, though the simulated dwarfs are always less centrally dense than in ΛCDM. The V1/2–r1/2 relation across all simulations is generally consistent with observations of Local Field dwarfs, though compact objects such as Tucana provide a unique challenge. Overall, the inclusion of baryons substantially reduces any distinct signatures of dark matter physics in the observable properties of dwarf galaxies. Spatially resolved rotation curves in the central regions (<400 pc) of small dwarfsmore »could provide a way to distinguish between CDM, WDM, and SIDM, however: at the masses probed in this simulation suite, cored density profiles in dwarfs with small r1/2 values can only originate from dark matter self-interactions.« less
  5. 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 comparingmore »zoom-in simulations targeting isolated dwarf galaxies against observed dwarf galaxies in the LG.« less