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Creators/Authors contains: "Narayanan, Desika"

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    We analyse a suite of 29 high-resolution zoom-in cosmological hydrodynamic simulations of massive galaxies with stellar masses $M_{\rm star} \gt 10^{10.9} \, \mathrm{M}_\odot$, with the goal of better understanding merger activity among active galactic nuclei (AGN), AGN activity in merging systems, SMBH growth during mergers, and the role of gas content in triggering AGN. Using the radiative transfer code Powderday, we generate HST-WFC3 F160W mock observations of central galaxies at redshift 0.5 < z < 3; convolve each image with a CANDELS-like point spread function; stitch each image into a real CANDELS image; and identify mergers within the synthetic images using commonly adopted non-parametric statistics. We study the connection between mergers and AGN activity in both the simulations and synthetic images and find reasonable agreement with observations from CANDELS. We find that AGN activity is not primarily driven by major mergers (stellar mass ratio > 1:4) except in a select few cases of gas-rich mergers at low redshifts (0.5 < z < 0.9). We also find that major mergers do not significantly grow the central SMBHs, indicating major mergers do not sustain long-term accretion. Moreover, the most luminous AGN in our simulations (Lbol > 1045 erg s−1) are no more likely than inactive galaxies (Lbol < 1043 erg s−1) to be found in merging systems. We conclude that mergers are not the primary drivers of AGN activity in the simulated massive galaxies studied here.

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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024
  3. Abstract

    Observations of local star-forming galaxies (SFGs) show a tight correlation between their singly ionized carbon line luminosity ($L_{\rm [C\, \small {II}]}$) and star formation rate (SFR), suggesting that $L_{\rm [C\, \small {II}]}$ may be a useful SFR tracer for galaxies. Some other galaxy populations, however, are found to have lower $L_{\rm [C\, \small {II}]}{}/{}\rm SFR$ than local SFGs, including the infrared-luminous, starburst galaxies at low and high redshifts as well as some moderately star-forming galaxies at the epoch of re-ionization (EoR). The origins of this ‘$\rm [C\, \small {II}]$ deficit’ is unclear. In this work, we study the $L_{\rm [C\, \small {II}]}$-SFR relation of galaxies using a sample of z = 0 − 8 galaxies with M* ≈ 107 − 5 × 1011 M⊙ extracted from cosmological volume and zoom-in simulations from the Feedback in Realistic Environments (fire) project. We find a simple analytic expression for $L_{\rm [C\, \small {II}]}$/SFR of galaxies in terms of the following parameters: mass fraction of $\rm [C\, \small {II}]$-emitting gas ($f_{\rm [C\, \small {II}]}$), gas metallicity (Zgas), gas density (ngas) and gas depletion time ($t_{\rm dep}{}={}M_{\rm gas}{}/{}\rm SFR$). We find two distinct physical regimes: $\rm H_2$-rich galaxies where tdep is the main driver of the $\rm [C\, \small {II}]$ deficit and $\rm H_2$-poor galaxies where Zgas is the main driver. The observed $\rm [C\, \small {II}]$ deficit of IR-luminous galaxies and early EoR galaxies, corresponding to the two different regimes, is due to short gas depletion time and low gas metallicity, respectively. Our result indicates that the $\rm [C\, \small {II}]$ deficit is a common phenomenon of galaxies, and caution needs to be taken when applying a constant $L_{\rm [C\, \small {II}]}$-to-SFR conversion factor derived from local SFGs to estimate cosmic SFR density at high redshifts and interpret data from upcoming $\rm [C\, \small {II}]$ line intensity mapping experiments.

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  4. Abstract

    We present visual classifications of merger-induced tidal disturbances in 143M*∼ 1011Mpost-starburst galaxies atz∼ 0.7 identified in theSQuIGGLESample. This sample spectroscopically selects galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey that have stopped their primary epoch of star formation within the past ∼500 Myr. Visual classifications are performed on Hyper Suprime-Cam imaging. We compare to a control sample of mass- and redshift-matched star-forming and quiescent galaxies from the Large Early Galaxy Census and find that post-starburst galaxies are more likely to be classified as disturbed than either category. This corresponds to a factor of3.61.3+2.9times the disturbance rate of older quiescent galaxies and2.1.73+1.9times the disturbance rate of star-forming galaxies. Assuming tidal features persist for ≲500 Myr, this suggests merging is coincident with quenching in a significant fraction of these post-starbursts. Galaxies with tidal disturbances are younger on average than undisturbed post-starburst galaxies in our sample, suggesting tidal features from a major merger may have faded over time. This may be exacerbated by the fact that, on average, the undisturbed subset is fainter, rendering low-surface-brightness tidal features harder to identify. However, the presence of 10 young (≲150 Myr since quenching) undisturbed galaxies suggests that major mergers are not the only fast physical mechanism that shut down the primary epoch of star formation in massive galaxies at intermediate redshift.

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  5. We present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) sub-kiloparsec- to kiloparsec-scale resolution observations of the [C II], CO (9–8), and OH+(11–01) lines along with their dust continuum emission toward the far-infrared (FIR) luminous quasar SDSS J231038.88+185519.7 atz = 6.0031, to study the interstellar medium distribution, the gas kinematics, and the quasar-host system dynamics. We decompose the intensity maps of the [C II] and CO (9–8) lines and the dust continuum with two-dimensional elliptical Sérsic models. The [C II] brightness follows a flat distribution with a Sérsic index of 0.59. The CO (9–8) line and the dust continuum can be fit with an unresolved nuclear component and an extended Sérsic component with a Sérsic index of ∼1, which may correspond to the emission from an active galactic nucleus dusty molecular torus and a quasar host galaxy, respectively. The different [C II] spatial distribution may be due to the effect of the high dust opacity, which increases the FIR background radiation on the [C II] line, especially in the galaxy center, significantly suppressing the [C II] emission profile. The dust temperature drops with distance from the center. The effective radius of the dust continuum is smaller than that of the line emission and the dust mass surface density, but is consistent with that of the star formation rate surface density. This may indicate that the dust emission is a less robust tracer of the dust and gas distribution but is a decent tracer of the obscured star formation activity. The OH+(11–01) line shows a P-Cygni profile with an absorption at ∼–400 km s−1, which may indicate an outflow with a neutral gas mass of (6.2 ± 1.2)×108Malong the line of sight. We employed a three-dimensional tilted ring model to fit the [C II] and CO (9–8) data cubes. The two lines are both rotation dominated and trace identical disk geometries and gas motions. This suggest that the [C II] and CO (9–8) gas are coplanar and corotating in this quasar host galaxy. The consistent circular velocities measured with [C II] and CO (9–8) lines indicate that these two lines trace a similar gravitational potential. We decompose the circular rotation curve measured from the kinematic model fit to the [C II] line into four matter components (black hole, stars, gas, and dark matter). The quasar-starburst system is dominated by baryonic matter inside the central few kiloparsecs. We constrain the black hole mass to be 2.97+0.51-0.77 × 109M; this is the first time that the dynamical mass of a black hole has been measured atz ∼ 6. This mass is consistent with that determined using the scaling relations from quasar emission lines. A massive stellar component (on the order of 109M) may have already existed when the Universe was only ∼0.93 Gyr old. The relations between the black hole mass and the baryonic mass of this quasar indicate that the central supermassive black hole may have formed before its host galaxy.

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  6. Abstract One of the most common methods for inferring galaxy attenuation curves is via spectral energy distribution (SED) modeling, where the dust attenuation properties are modeled simultaneously with other galaxy physical properties. In this paper, we assess the ability of SED modeling to infer these dust attenuation curves from broadband photometry, and suggest a new flexible model that greatly improves the accuracy of attenuation curve derivations. To do this, we fit mock SEDs generated from the simba cosmological simulation with the prospector SED fitting code. We consider the impact of the commonly assumed uniform screen model and introduce a new nonuniform screen model parameterized by the fraction of unobscured stellar light. This nonuniform screen model allows for a nonzero fraction of stellar light to remain unattenuated, resulting in a more flexible attenuation curve shape by decoupling the shape of the UV attenuation curve from the optical attenuation curve. The ability to constrain the dust attenuation curve is significantly improved with the use of a nonuniform screen model, with the median offset in UV attenuation decreasing from −0.30 dex with a uniform screen model to −0.17 dex with the nonuniform screen model. With this increase in dust attenuation modeling accuracy, we also improve the star formation rates (SFRs) inferred with the nonuniform screen model, decreasing the SFR offset on average by 0.12 dex. We discuss the efficacy of this new model, focusing on caveats with modeling star-dust geometries and the constraining power of available SED observations. 
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  7. Abstract

    The molecular gas in galaxies traces both the fuel for star formation and the processes that can enhance or suppress star formation. Observations of the molecular gas state can thus point to when and why galaxies stop forming stars. In this study, we present Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array observations of the molecular gas in galaxies evolving through the post-starburst phase. These galaxies have low current star formation rates (SFRs), regardless of the SFR tracer used, with recent starbursts ending within the last 600 Myr. We present CO (3–2) observations for three post-starburst galaxies, and dense gas HCN/HCO+/HNC (1–0) observations for six (four new) post-starburst galaxies. The post-starbursts have low excitation traced by the CO spectral-line energy distribution up to CO (3–2), more similar to early-type than starburst galaxies. The low excitation indicates that lower density rather than high temperatures may suppress star formation during the post-starburst phase. One galaxy displays a blueshifted outflow traced by CO (3–2). MaNGA observations show that the ionized gas velocity is disturbed relative to the stellar velocity field, with a blueshifted component aligned with the molecular gas outflow, suggestive of a multiphase outflow. Low ratios of HCO+/CO, indicating low fractions of dense molecular gas relative to the total molecular gas, are seen throughout post-starburst phase, except for the youngest post-starburst galaxy considered here. These observations indicate that the impact of any feedback or quenching processes may be limited to low excitation and weak outflows in the cold molecular gas during the post-starburst phase.

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  8. Abstract Understanding the halo–galaxy connection is fundamental in order to improve our knowledge on the nature and properties of dark matter. In this work, we build a model that infers the mass of a halo given the positions, velocities, stellar masses, and radii of the galaxies it hosts. In order to capture information from correlations among galaxy properties and their phase space, we use Graph Neural Networks (GNNs), which are designed to work with irregular and sparse data. We train our models on galaxies from more than 2000 state-of-the-art simulations from the Cosmology and Astrophysics with MachinE Learning Simulations project. Our model, which accounts for cosmological and astrophysical uncertainties, is able to constrain the masses of the halos with a ∼0.2 dex accuracy. Furthermore, a GNN trained on a suite of simulations is able to preserve part of its accuracy when tested on simulations run with a different code that utilizes a distinct subgrid physics model, showing the robustness of our method. The PyTorch Geometric implementation of the GNN is publicly available on GitHub ( ). 
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  9. Abstract Accurate models of the star formation histories (SFHs) of recently quenched galaxies can provide constraints on when and how galaxies shut down their star formation. The recent development of nonparametric SFH models promises the flexibility required to make these measurements. However, model and prior choices significantly affect derived SFHs, particularly for post-starburst galaxies (PSBs), which have sharp changes in their recent SFH. In this paper, we create mock PSBs, then use the Prospector SED fitting software to test how well four different SFH models recover key properties. We find that a two-component parametric model performs well for our simple mock galaxies, but is sensitive to model mismatches. The fixed- and flexible-bin nonparametric models included in Prospector are able to rapidly quench a major burst of star formation, but systematically underestimate the post-burst age by up to 200 Myr. We develop a custom SFH model that allows for additional flexibility in the recent SFH. Our flexible nonparametric model is able to constrain post-burst ages with no significant offset and just ∼90 Myr of scatter. Our results suggest that while standard nonparametric models are able to recover first-order quantities of the SFH (mass, SFR, average age), accurately recovering higher-order quantities (burst fraction, quenching time) requires careful consideration of model flexibility. These mock recovery tests are a critical part of future SFH studies. Finally, we show that our new, public SFH model is able to accurately recover the properties of mock star-forming and quiescent galaxies and is suitable for broader use in the SED fitting community. 
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  10. Abstract

    One of the most fundamental baryonic matter components of galaxies is the neutral atomic hydrogen (Hi). At low redshifts, this component can be traced directly through the 21 cm transition, but to infer the Higas content of the most distant galaxies, a viable tracer is needed. We here investigate the fidelity of the fine-structure transition of the (2P3/22P1/3) transition of singly ionized carbon Ciiat 158μm as a proxy for Hiin a set simulated galaxies atz≈ 6, following the work by Heintz et al. We select 11,125 star-forming galaxies from thesimbasimulations, with far-infrared line emissions postprocessed and modeled within the Sigameframework. We find a strong connection between Ciiand Hi, with the relation between this Cii-to-Hirelation (β[CII]) being anticorrelated with the gas-phase metallicity of the simulated galaxies. We further use these simulations to make predictions for the total baryonic matter content of galaxies atz≈ 6, and specifically the Higas mass fraction. We find mean values ofMH I/M= 1.4 andMH I/Mbar,tot= 0.45. These results provide strong evidence for Hibeing the dominant baryonic matter component by mass in galaxies atz≈ 6.

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