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  1. ABSTRACT

    The high-redshift intergalactic medium (IGM) and the primeval galaxy population are rapidly becoming the new frontier of extragalactic astronomy. We investigate the IGM properties and their connection to galaxies at z ≥ 5.5 under different assumptions for the ionizing photon escape and the nature of dark matter, employing our novel thesan radiation-hydrodynamical simulation suite, designed to provide a comprehensive picture of the emergence of galaxies in a full reionization context. Our simulations have realistic ‘late’ reionization histories, match available constraints on global IGM properties, and reproduce the recently observed rapid evolution of the mean free path of ionizing photons. We additionally examine high-z Lyman-α transmission. The optical depth evolution is consistent with data, and its distribution suggests an even-later reionization than simulated, although with a strong sensitivity to the source model. We show that the effects of these two unknowns can be disentangled by characterizing the spectral shape and separation of Lyman-α transmission regions, opening up the possibility to observationally constrain both. For the first time in simulations, thesan reproduces the modulation of the Lyman-α flux as a function of galaxy distance, demonstrating the power of coupling a realistic galaxy formation model with proper radiation hydrodynamics. We find thismore »feature to be extremely sensitive on the timing of reionization, while being relatively insensitive to the source model. Overall, thesan produces a realistic IGM and galaxy population, providing a robust framework for future analysis of the high-z Universe.

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  2. ABSTRACT

    The visibility of high-redshift Lyman-alpha emitting galaxies (LAEs) provides important constraints on galaxy formation processes and the Epoch of Reionization (EoR). However, predicting realistic and representative statistics for comparison with observations represents a significant challenge in the context of large-volume cosmological simulations. The thesan project offers a unique framework for addressing such limitations by combining state-of-the-art galaxy formation (IllustrisTNG) and dust models with the arepo-rt radiation-magnetohydrodynamics solver. In this initial study, we present Lyman-alpha centric analysis for the flagship simulation that resolves atomic cooling haloes throughout a $(95.5\, \text{cMpc})^3$ region of the Universe. To avoid numerical artefacts, we devise a novel method for accurate frequency-dependent line radiative transfer in the presence of continuous Hubble flow, transferable to broader astrophysical applications as well. Our scalable approach highlights the utility of LAEs and red damping-wing transmission as probes of reionization, which reveal nontrivial trends across different galaxies, sightlines, and frequency bands that can be modelled in the framework of covering fractions. In fact, after accounting for environmental factors influencing large-scale ionized bubble formation such as redshift and UV magnitude, the variation across galaxies and sightlines mainly depends on random processes including peculiar velocities and self-shielded systems that strongly impact unfortunate raysmore »more than others. Throughout the EoR local and cosmological optical depths are often greater than or less than unity such that the exp (− τ) behaviour leads to anisotropic and bimodal transmissivity. Future surveys will benefit by targeting both rare bright objects and Goldilocks zone LAEs to infer the presence of these (un)predictable (dis)advantages.

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  3. ABSTRACT

    The nebular recombination line H α is widely used as a star formation rate (SFR) indicator in the local and high-redshift Universe. We present a detailed H α radiative transfer study of high-resolution isolated Milky-Way and Large Magellanic Cloud simulations that include radiative transfer, non-equilibrium thermochemistry, and dust evolution. We focus on the spatial morphology and temporal variability of the H α emission, and its connection to the underlying gas and star formation properties. The H α and H β radial and vertical surface brightness profiles are in excellent agreement with observations of nearby galaxies. We find that the fraction of H α emission from collisional excitation amounts to fcol ∼ 5–$10{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$, only weakly dependent on radius and vertical height, and that scattering boosts the H α luminosity by $\sim 40{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$. The dust correction via the Balmer decrement works well (intrinsic H α emission recoverable within 25 per cent), though the dust attenuation law depends on the amount of attenuation itself both on spatially resolved and integrated scales. Important for the understanding of the H α–SFR connection is the dust and helium absorption of ionizing radiation (Lyman continuum [LyC] photons), which are about $f_{\rm abs}\approx 28{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ and $f_{\rm He}\approx 9{{\ \rmmore »per\ cent}}$, respectively. Together with an escape fraction of $f_{\rm esc}\approx 6{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$, this reduces the available budget for hydrogen line emission by nearly half ($f_{\rm H}\approx 57{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$). We discuss the impact of the diffuse ionized gas, showing – among other things – that the extraplanar H α emission is powered by LyC photons escaping the disc. Future applications of this framework to cosmological (zoom-in) simulations will assist in the interpretation of spectroscopy of high-redshift galaxies with the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope.

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  4. ABSTRACT

    We post-process galaxies in the IllustrisTNG simulations with skirt radiative transfer calculations to make predictions for the rest-frame near-infrared (NIR) and far-infrared (FIR) properties of galaxies at z ≥ 4. The rest-frame K- and z-band galaxy luminosity functions from TNG are overall consistent with observations, despite ${\sim}0.5\, \mathrm{dex}$ underprediction at z = 4 for MK ≲ −25 and Mz ≲ −24. Predictions for the JWST MIRI observed galaxy luminosity functions and number counts are given. Based on theoretical estimations, we show that the next-generation survey conducted by JWST can detect 500 (30) galaxies in F1000W in a survey area of $500\, {\rm arcmin}^{2}$ at z = 6 (z = 8). As opposed to the consistency in the UV, optical, and NIR, we find that TNG, combined with our dust modelling choices, significantly underpredicts the abundance of most dust-obscured and thus most luminous FIR galaxies. As a result, the obscured cosmic star formation rate density (SFRD) and the SFRD contributed by optical/NIR dark objects are underpredicted. The discrepancies discovered here could provide new constraints on the sub-grid feedback models, or the dust contents, of simulations. Meanwhile, although the TNG predicted dust temperature and its relations with IR luminosity and redshiftmore »are qualitatively consistent with observations, the peak dust temperature of z ≥ 6 galaxies are overestimated by about $20\, {\rm K}$. This could be related to the limited mass resolution of our simulations to fully resolve the porosity of the interstellar medium (or specifically its dust content) at these redshifts.

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  5. ABSTRACT

    Recent observations have revealed remarkable insights into the gas reservoir in the circumgalactic medium (CGM) of galaxy haloes. In this paper, we characterize the gas in the vicinity of Milky Way and Andromeda analogues in the hestia (High resolution Environmental Simulations of The Immediate Area) suite of constrained Local Group (LG) simulations. The hestia suite comprise of a set of three high-resolution arepo-based simulations of the LG, run using the Auriga galaxy formation model. For this paper, we focus only on the z = 0 simulation data sets and generate mock skymaps along with a power spectrum analysis to show that the distributions of ions tracing low-temperature gas (H i and Si iii) are more clumpy in comparison to warmer gas tracers (O vi, O vii, and O viii). We compare to the spectroscopic CGM observations of M31 and low-redshift galaxies. hestia underproduces the column densities of the M31 observations, but the simulations are consistent with the observations of low-redshift galaxies. A possible explanation for these findings is that the spectroscopic observations of M31 are contaminated by gas residing in the CGM of the Milky Way.

  6. ABSTRACT

    We present a sample of 446 galaxy pairs constructed using the cosmological simulation IllustrisTNG-100 at z = 0, with M$_{\rm FoF,dm} = 10^{11}\!-\!10^{13.5}$ M⊙. We produce ideal mock SDSS g-band images of all pairs to test the reliability of visual classification schema employed to produce samples of interacting galaxies. We visually classify each image as interacting or not based on the presence of a close neighbour, the presence of stellar debris fields, disturbed discs, and/or tidal features. By inspecting the trajectories of the pairs, we determine that these indicators correctly identify interacting galaxies ∼45 per cent of the time. We subsequently split the sample into the visually identified interacting pairs (VIP; 38 pairs) and those which are interacting but are not visually identified (nonVIP; 47 pairs). We find that VIP have undergone a close passage nearly twice as recently as the non-VIP, and typically have higher stellar masses. Further, the VIP sit in dark matter haloes that are approximately 2.5 times as massive, in environments nearly 2 times as dense, and are almost a factor of 10 more affected by the tidal forces of their surroundings than the nonVIP. These factors conspire to increase the observability of tidal features and disturbed morphologies, making themore »VIP more likely to be identified. Thus, merger rate calculations which rely on stellar morphologies are likely to be significantly biased toward massive galaxy pairs which have recently undergone a close passage.

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  7. ABSTRACT Line intensity mapping (LIM) is rapidly emerging as a powerful technique to study galaxy formation and cosmology in the high-redshift Universe. We present LIM estimates of select spectral lines originating from the interstellar medium (ISM) of galaxies and 21 cm emission from neutral hydrogen gas in the Universe using the large volume, high resolution thesan reionization simulations. A combination of subresolution photoionization modelling for H ii regions and Monte Carlo radiative transfer calculations is employed to estimate the dust-attenuated spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of high-redshift galaxies (z ≳ 5.5). We show that the derived photometric properties such as the ultraviolet (UV) luminosity function and the UV continuum slopes match observationally inferred values, demonstrating the accuracy of the SED modelling. We provide fits to the luminosity–star formation rate relation (L–SFR) for the brightest emission lines and find that important differences exist between the derived scaling relations and the widely used low-z ones because the ISM of reionization era galaxies is generally less metal enriched than in their low-redshift counterparts. We use these relations to construct line intensity maps of nebular emission lines and cross-correlate with the 21 cm emission. Interestingly, the wavenumber at which the correlation switches sign (ktransition) depends heavily on themore »reionization model and to a lesser extent on the targeted emission line, which is consistent with the picture that ktransition probes the typical sizes of ionized regions. The derived scaling relations and intensity maps represent a timely state-of-the-art framework for forecasting and interpreting results from current and upcoming LIM experiments.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 28, 2023
  8. ABSTRACT Galaxy mergers are known to host abundant young massive cluster (YMC) populations, whose formation mechanism is still not well-understood. Here, we present a high-resolution galaxy merger simulation with explicit star formation and stellar feedback prescriptions to investigate how mergers affect the properties of the interstellar medium and YMCs. Compared with a controlled simulation of an isolated galaxy, the mass fraction of dense and high-pressure gas is much higher in mergers. Consequently, the mass function of both molecular clouds and YMCs becomes shallower and extends to higher masses. Moreover, cluster formation efficiency is significantly enhanced and correlates positively with the star formation rate surface density and gas pressure. We track the orbits of YMCs and investigate the time evolution of tidal fields during the course of the merger. At an early stage of the merger, the tidal field strength correlates positively with YMC mass, λtid ∝ M0.71, which systematically affects the shape of the mass function and age distribution of the YMCs. At later times, most YMCs closely follow the orbits of their host galaxies, gradually sinking into the centre of the merger remnant due to dynamical friction, and are quickly dissolved via efficient tidal disruption. Interestingly, YMCs formed during the firstmore »passage, mostly in tidal tails and bridges, are distributed over a wide range of galactocentric radii, greatly increasing their survivability because of the much weaker tidal field in the outskirts of the merger system. These YMCs are promising candidates for globular clusters that survive to the present day.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 3, 2023
  9. ABSTRACT Self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) cosmologies admit an enormous diversity of dark matter (DM) halo density profiles, from low-density cores to high-density core-collapsed cusps. The possibility of the growth of high central density in low-mass haloes, accelerated if haloes are subhaloes of larger systems, has intriguing consequences for small-halo searches with substructure lensing. However, following the evolution of ${\lesssim}10^8 \, \mathrm{M}_\odot$ subhaloes in lens-mass systems (${\sim}10^{13}\, \mathrm{M}_\odot$) is computationally expensive with traditional N-body simulations. In this work, we develop a new hybrid semi-analytical + N-body method to study the evolution of SIDM subhaloes with high fidelity, from core formation to core-collapse, in staged simulations. Our method works best for small subhaloes (≲1/1000 host mass), for which the error caused by dynamical friction is minimal. We are able to capture the evaporation of subhalo particles by interactions with host halo particles, an effect that has not yet been fully explored in the context of subhalo core-collapse. We find three main processes drive subhalo evolution: subhalo internal heat outflow, host-subhalo evaporation, and tidal effects. The subhalo central density grows only when the heat outflow outweighs the energy gain from evaporation and tidal heating. Thus, evaporation delays or even disrupts subhalo core-collapse. Wemore »map out the parameter space for subhaloes to core-collapse, finding that it is nearly impossible to drive core-collapse in subhaloes in SIDM models with constant cross-sections. Any discovery of ultracompact dark substructures with future substructure lensing observations favours additional degrees of freedom, such as velocity-dependence, in the cross-section.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 23, 2023
  10. Abstract Early-type galaxies (ETGs) possess total density profiles close to isothermal, which can lead to non-Gaussian line-of-sight velocity dispersion (LOSVD) under anisotropic stellar orbits. However, recent observations of local ETGs in the MASSIVE Survey reveal outer kinematic structures at 1.5Reff (effective radius) that are inconsistent with fixed isothermal density profiles; the authors proposed varying density profiles as an explanation. We aim to verify this conjecture and understand the influence of stellar assembly on these kinematic features through mock ETGs in IllustrisTNG. We create mock Integral-Field-Unit observations to extract projected stellar kinematic features for 207 ETGs with stellar mass M* ≥ 1011 M⊙ in TNG100-1. The mock observations reproduce the key outer (1.5Reff) kinematic structures in the MASSIVE ETGs, including the puzzling positive correlation between velocity dispersion profile outer slope γouter and the kurtosis h4’s gradient. We find that h4 is uncorrelated with stellar orbital anisotropy beyond Reff; instead we find that the variations in γouter and outer h4 (a good proxy for h4 gradient) are both driven by variations of the density profile at the outskirts across different ETGs. These findings corroborate the proposed conjecture and rule out velocity anisotropy as the origin of non-Gaussian outer kinematic structure in ETGs. Wemore »also find that the outer kurtosis and anisotropy correlate with different stellar assembly components, with the former related to minor mergers or flyby interactions while the latter is mainly driven by major mergers, suggesting distinct stellar assembly origins that decorrelates the two quantities.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 19, 2023