skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Nelson, Dylan"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. ABSTRACT We use the magnetic-hydrodynamical simulation TNG50 to study the evolution of barred massive disc galaxies. Massive spiral galaxies are already present as early as z = 4, and bar formation takes place already at those early times. The bars grow longer and stronger as the host galaxies evolve, with the bar sizes increasing at a pace similar to that of the disc scalelengths. The bar fraction mildly evolves with redshift for galaxies with $M_{*}\ge 10^{10}\rm M_{\odot }$, being greater than $\sim 40{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ at 0.5 < z < 3 and $\sim 30{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ at z = 0. When bars larger than a given physical size ($\ge 2\, \rm kpc$) or the angular resolution limit of twice the I-band angular PSF FWHM of the HST are considered, the bar fraction dramatically decreases with increasing redshift, reconciling the theoretical predictions with observational data. We find that barred galaxies have an older stellar population, lower gas fractions, and star formation rates than unbarred galaxies. In most cases, the discs of barred galaxies assembled earlier and faster than the discs of unbarred galaxies. We also find that barred galaxies are typical in haloes with larger concentrations and smaller spin parameters thanmore »unbarred galaxies. Furthermore, the inner regions of barred galaxies are more baryon-dominated than those of unbarred galaxies but have comparable global stellar mass fractions. Our findings suggest that the bar population could be used as a potential tracer of the buildup of disc galaxies and their host haloes. With this paper, we release a catalogue of barred galaxies in TNG50 at six redshifts between z = 4 and 0.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 14, 2023
  2. Abstract The circumgalactic medium (CGM) contains information on gas flows around galaxies, such as accretion and supernova-driven winds, which are difficult to constrain from observations alone. Here, we use the high-resolution TNG50 cosmological magnetohydrodynamical simulation to study the properties and kinematics of the CGM around star-forming galaxies in 10 11.5 –10 12 M ⊙ halos at z ≃ 1 using mock Mg ii absorption lines, which we generate by postprocessing halos to account for photoionization in the presence of a UV background. We find that the Mg ii gas is a very good tracer of the cold CGM, which is accreting inward at inflow velocities of up to 50 km s −1 . For sight lines aligned with the galaxy’s major axis, we find that Mg ii absorption lines are kinematically shifted due to the cold CGM’s significant corotation at speeds up to 50% of the virial velocity for impact parameters up to 60 kpc. We compare mock Mg ii spectra to observations from the MusE GAs FLow and Wind (MEGAFLOW) survey of strong Mg ii absorbers (EW 2796 Å 0 > 0.5 Å). After matching the equivalent-width (EW) selection, we find that the mock Mg ii spectra reflect themore »diversity of observed kinematics and EWs from MEGAFLOW, even though the sight lines probe a very small fraction of the CGM. Mg ii absorption in higher-mass halos is stronger and broader than in lower-mass halos but has qualitatively similar kinematics. The median-specific angular momentum of the Mg ii CGM gas in TNG50 is very similar to that of the entire CGM and only differs from non-CGM components of the halo by normalization factors of ≲1 dex.« less
  3. Abstract Physical and chemical properties of the interstellar medium (ISM) at subgalactic (∼kiloparsec) scales play an indispensable role in controlling the ability of gas to form stars. In this paper, we use the TNG50 cosmological simulation to explore the physical parameter space of eight resolved ISM properties in star-forming regions to constrain the areas of this hyperspace where most star-forming environments exist. We deconstruct our simulated galaxies spanning a wide range of mass ( M ⋆ = 10 7 –10 11 M ⊙ ) and redshift (0 ≤ z ≤ 3) into kiloparsec-sized regions and statistically analyze the gas/stellar surface densities, gas metallicity, vertical stellar velocity dispersion, epicyclic frequency, and dark-matter volumetric density representative of each region in the context of their star formation activity and environment (radial galactocentric location). By examining the star formation rate (SFR) weighted distributions of these properties, we show that stars primarily form in two distinct environmental regimes, which are brought about by an underlying bicomponent radial SFR profile in galaxies. We examine how the relative prominence of these regimes depends on galaxy mass and cosmic time. We also compare our findings with those from integral field spectroscopy observations and find similarities as well asmore »departures. Further, using dimensionality reduction, we characterize the aforementioned hyperspace to reveal a high degree of multicollinearity in relationships among ISM properties that drive the distribution of star formation at kiloparsec scales. Based on this, we show that a reduced 3D representation underpinned by a multivariate radius relationship is sufficient to capture most of the variance in the original 8D space.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  4. ABSTRACT The sensitivity of X-ray facilities and our ability to detect fainter active galactic nuclei (AGNs) will increase with the upcoming Athena mission and the AXIS and Lynx concept missions, thus improving our understanding of supermassive black holes (BHs) in a luminosity regime that can be dominated by X-ray binaries. We analyse the population of faint AGNs ($L_{\rm x, 2{-}10 \, keV}\leqslant 10^{42}\, \rm erg\,s^{ -1}$) in the Illustris, TNG100, EAGLE, and SIMBA cosmological simulations, and find that the properties of their host galaxies vary from one simulation to another. In Illustris and EAGLE, faint AGNs are powered by low-mass BHs located in low-mass star-forming galaxies. In TNG100 and SIMBA, they are mostly associated with more massive BHs in quenched massive galaxies. We model the X-ray binary (XRB) populations of the simulated galaxies, and find that AGNs often dominate the galaxy AGN + XRB hard X-ray luminosity at z > 2, while XRBs dominate in some simulations at z < 2. Whether the AGN or XRB emission dominates in star-forming and quenched galaxies depends on the simulations. These differences in simulations can be used to discriminate between galaxy formation models with future high-resolution X-ray observations. We compare the luminosity ofmore »simulated faint AGN host galaxies to observations of stacked galaxies from Chandra. Our comparison indicates that the simulations post-processed with our X-ray modelling tend to overestimate the AGN + XRB X-ray luminosity; luminosity that can be strongly affected by AGN obscuration. Some simulations reveal clear AGN trends as a function of stellar mass (e.g. galaxy luminosity drop in massive galaxies), which are not apparent in the observations.« less
  5. ABSTRACT

    Direct collapse black holes (BHs) are promising candidates for producing massive z ≳ 6 quasars, but their formation requires fine-tuned conditions. In this work, we use cosmological zoom simulations to study systematically the impact of requiring: (1) low gas angular momentum (spin), and (2) a minimum incident Lyman–Werner (LW) flux in order to form BH seeds. We probe the formation of seeds (with initial masses of $M_{\rm seed} \sim 10^4\!-\!10^6\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }\, h^{-1})$ in haloes with a total mass >3000 × Mseed and a dense, metal-poor gas mass >5 × Mseed. Within this framework, we find that the seed-forming haloes have a prior history of star formation and metal enrichment, but they also contain pockets of dense, metal-poor gas. When seeding is further restricted to haloes with low gas spins, the number of seeds formed is suppressed by factors of ∼6 compared to the baseline model, regardless of the seed mass. Seed formation is much more strongly impacted if the dense, metal-poor gas is required to have a critical LW flux (Jcrit). Even for Jcrit values as low as 50J21, no $8\times 10^{5}~\mathrm{M}_{\odot }\, h^{-1}$ seeds are formed. While lower mass ($1.25\times 10^{4},1\times 10^{5}~\mathrm{M}_{\odot }\, h^{-1}$) seeds do form, they are strongly suppressed (by factors of ∼10–100) comparedmore »to the baseline model at gas mass resolutions of $\sim 10^4~\mathrm{M}_{\odot }\, h^{-1}$ (with even stronger suppression at higher resolutions). As a result, BH merger rates are also similarly suppressed. Since early BH growth is dominated by mergers in our models, none of the seeds are able to grow to the supermassive regime ($\gtrsim 10^6~\mathrm{M}_{\odot }\, h^{-1}$) by z = 7. Our results hint that producing the bulk of the z ≳ 6 supermassive BH population may require alternate seeding scenarios that do not depend on the LW flux, early BH growth dominated by rapid or super-Eddington accretion, or a combination of these possibilities.

    « less
  6. ABSTRACT In large-scale hydrodynamical cosmological simulations, the fate of massive galaxies is mainly dictated by the modelling of feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGNs). The amount of energy released by AGN feedback is proportional to the mass that has been accreted on to the black holes (BHs), but the exact subgrid modelling of AGN feedback differs in all simulations. While modern simulations reliably produce populations of quiescent massive galaxies at z ≤ 2, it is also crucial to assess the similarities and differences of the responsible AGN populations. Here, we compare the AGN populations of the Illustris, TNG100, TNG300, Horizon-AGN, EAGLE, and SIMBA simulations. The AGN luminosity function (LF) varies significantly between simulations. Although in agreement with current observational constraints at z = 0, at higher redshift the agreement of the LFs deteriorates with most simulations producing too many AGNs of $L_{\rm x, 2\!-\!10 \, keV}\sim 10^{43\!-\!44}\, \rm erg\, s^{-1}$. AGN feedback in some simulations prevents the existence of any bright AGN with $L_{\rm x, 2\!-\!10 \, keV}\geqslant 10^{45}\rm \,erg\, s^{-1}$ (although this is sensitive to AGN variability), and leads to smaller fractions of AGN in massive galaxies than in the observations at z ≤ 2. We find that all themore »simulations fail at producing a number density of AGN in good agreement with observational constraints for both luminous ($L_{\rm x, 2\!-\!10 \, keV}\sim 10^\text{43-45}\, \rm erg\, s^{-1}$) and fainter ($L_{\rm x, 2\!-\!10 \, keV}\sim 10^\text{42-43}\, \rm erg\, s^{-1}$) AGNs and at both low and high redshifts. These differences can aid us in improving future BH and galaxy subgrid modelling in simulations. Upcoming X-ray missions (e.g. Athena, AXIS, and LynX) will bring faint AGNs to light and new powerful constraints. After accounting for AGN obscuration, we find that the predicted number density of detectable AGNs in future surveys spans at least one order of magnitude across the simulations, at any redshift.« less
  7. Abstract We report the discovery of two kinematically anomalous atomic hydrogen (H i ) clouds in M 100 (NGC 4321), which was observed as part of the Deciphering the Interplay between the Interstellar medium, Stars, and the Circumgalactic medium (DIISC) survey in H i 21 cm at 3.3 km s −1 spectroscopic and 44″ × 30″ spatial resolution using the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array. 15 15 The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. These clouds were identified as structures that show significant kinematic offsets from the rotating disk of M 100. The velocity offsets of 40 km s −1 observed in these clouds are comparable to the offsets seen in intermediate-velocity clouds (IVCs) in the circumgalactic medium (CGM) of the Milky Way and nearby galaxies. We find that one anomalous cloud in M 100 is associated with star-forming regions detected in H α and far-ultraviolet imaging. Our investigation shows that anomalous clouds in M 100 may originate from multiple mechanisms, such as star formation feedback-driven outflows, ram pressure stripping, and tidal interactions with satellite galaxies. Moreover, we do not detect any cool CGM atmore »38.8 kpc from the center of M 100, giving an upper limit of N(H i ) ≤1.7 × 10 13 cm −2 (3 σ ). Since M 100 is in the Virgo cluster, the nonexistence of neutral/cool CGM is a likely pathway for turning it into a red galaxy.« less
  8. Abstract Deciphering the formation of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) is a key science goal for upcoming observational facilities. In many theoretical channels proposed so far, the seed formation depends crucially on local gas conditions. We systematically characterize the impact of a range of gas-based black hole seeding prescriptions on SMBH populations using cosmological simulations. Seeds of mass Mseed ∼ 103–106 M⊙ h−1 are placed in haloes that exceed critical thresholds for star-forming, metal-poor gas mass and halo mass (defined as $\tilde{M}_{\mathrm{sf,mp}}$ and $\tilde{M}_{\mathrm{h}}$, respectively, in units of Mseed). We quantify the impact of these parameters on the properties of z ≥ 7 SMBHs. Lower seed masses produce higher black hole merger rates (by factors of ∼10 and ∼1000 at z ∼ 7 and z ∼ 15, respectively). For fixed seed mass, we find that $\tilde{M}_{\mathrm{h}}$ has the strongest impact on the black hole population at high redshift (z ≳ 15, where a factor of 10 increase in $\tilde{M}_{\mathrm{h}}$ suppresses merger rates by ≳ 100). At lower redshift (z ≲ 15), we find that $\tilde{M}_{\mathrm{sf,mp}}$ has a larger impact on the black hole population. Increasing $\tilde{M}_{\mathrm{sf,mp}}$ from 5–150 suppresses the merger rates by factors of ∼8 at z ∼ 7–15. This suggests that themore »seeding criteria explored here could leave distinct imprints on LISA merger rates. In contrast, AGN luminosity functions are much less sensitive to seeding criteria, varying by factors ≲ 2 − 3 within our models. Such variations will be challenging to probe even with future sensitive instruments such as Lynx or JWST. Our study provides a useful benchmark for development of seed models for large-volume cosmological simulations.« less
  9. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT We present the radial gas-phase, mass-weighted metallicity profiles and gradients of the TNG50 star-forming galaxy population measured at redshifts z = 0–3. We investigate the redshift evolution of gradients and examine relations between gradient (negative) steepness and galaxy properties. We find that TNG50 gradients are predominantly negative at all redshifts, although we observe significant diversity among these negative gradients. We determine that the gradients of all galaxies grow more negative with redshift at a roughly constant rate of approximately $-0.02\ \mathrm{dex\, kpc^{-1}}/\Delta z$. This rate does not vary significantly with galaxy mass. We observe a weak negative correlation between gradient (negative) steepness and galaxy stellar mass at z < 2. However, when we normalize gradients by a characteristic radius defined by the galactic star formation distribution, we find that these normalized gradients do not vary significantly with either stellar mass or redshift. We place our results in the context of previous simulations and show that TNG50 high-redshift gradients are more negative than those of models featuring burstier feedback, which may further highlight high-redshift gradients as important discriminators of galaxy formation models. We also find that z = 0 and z = 0.5 TNG50 gradients are consistent with the gradientsmore »observed in galaxies at these redshifts, although the preference for flat gradients observed in redshift z ≳ 1 galaxies is not present in TNG50. If future JWST (James Webb Space Telescope) and ELT (Extremely Large Telescope) observations validate these flat gradients, it may indicate a need for simulation models to implement more powerful radial gas mixing within the ISM (interstellar medium), possibly via turbulence and/or stronger winds.« less