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    Self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) offers the potential to mitigate some of the discrepancies between simulated cold dark matter (CDM) and observed galactic properties. We introduce a physically motivated SIDM model to understand the effects of self interactions on the properties of Milky Way and dwarf galaxy sized haloes. This model consists of dark matter with a nearly degenerate excited state, which allows for both elastic and inelastic scattering. In particular, the model includes a significant probability for particles to up-scatter from the ground state to the excited state. We simulate a suite of zoom-in Milky Way-sized N-body haloes with six models with different scattering cross sections to study the effects of up-scattering in SIDM models. We find that the up-scattering reaction greatly increases the central densities of the main halo through the loss of kinetic energy. However, the physical model still results in significant coring due to the presence of elastic scattering and down-scattering. These effects are not as apparent in the subhalo population compared to the main halo, but the number of subhaloes is reduced compared to CDM.

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    We investigate cosmological structure formation in fuzzy dark matter (FDM) with the attractive self-interaction (SI) with numerical simulations. Such a SI would arise if the FDM boson were an ultra-light axion, which has a strong CP symmetry-breaking scale (decay constant). Although weak, the attractive SI may be strong enough to counteract the quantum ‘pressure’ and alter structure formation. We find in our simulations that the SI can enhance small-scale structure formation, and soliton cores above a critical mass undergo a phase transition, transforming from dilute to dense solitons.

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  3. Abstract

    A supersonic relative velocity between dark matter (DM) and baryons (the stream velocity) at the time of recombination induces the formation of low-mass objects with anomalous properties in the early universe. We widen the scope of the “Supersonic Project” paper series to include objects we term Dark Matter + Gas Halos Offset by Streaming (DM GHOSts)—diffuse, DM-enriched structures formed because of a physical offset between the centers of mass of DM and baryonic overdensities. We present an updated numerical investigation of DM GHOSts and Supersonically Induced Gas Objects (SIGOs), including the effects of molecular cooling, in high-resolution hydrodynamic simulations using theAREPOcode. Supplemented by an analytical understanding of their ellipsoidal gravitational potentials, we study the population-level properties of these objects, characterizing their morphology, spin, radial mass, and velocity distributions in comparison to classical structures in non-streaming regions. The stream velocity causes deviations from sphericity in both the gas and DM components and lends greater rotational support to the gas. Low-mass (≲105.5M) objects in regions of streaming demonstrate core-like rotation and mass profiles. Anomalies in the rotation and morphology of DM GHOSts could represent an early universe analog to observed ultra-faint dwarf galaxies with variations in DM content and unusual rotation curves.

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    The observability of Lyα emitting galaxies (LAEs) during the Epoch of Reionization can provide a sensitive probe of the evolving neutral hydrogen gas distribution, thus setting valuable constraints to distinguish different reionization models. In this study, we utilize the new thesan suite of large-volume ($L_\text{box} = 95.5\, \text{cMpc}$) cosmological radiation-hydrodynamic simulations to directly model the Lyα emission from individual galaxies and the subsequent transmission through the intergalactic medium. thesan combines the arepo-rt radiation-hydrodynamic solver with the IllustrisTNG galaxy formation model and includes high- and medium-resolution simulations designed to investigate the impacts of halo-mass-dependent escape fractions, alternative dark matter models, and numerical convergence. We find important differences in the Lyα transmission based on reionization history, bubble morphology, frequency offset from line centre, and galaxy brightness. For a given global neutral fraction, Lyα transmission reduces when low-mass haloes dominate reionization over high-mass haloes. Furthermore, the variation across sightlines for a single galaxy is greater than the variation across all galaxies. This collectively affects the visibility of LAEs, directly impacting observed Lyα luminosity functions (LFs). We employ Gaussian Process Regression using SWIFTEmulator to rapidly constrain an empirical model for dust escape fractions and emergent spectral-line profiles to match observed LFs. We find that dust strongly impacts the Lyα transmission and covering fractions of MUV ≲ −19 galaxies in $M_\text{vir} \gtrsim 10^{11}\, \text{M}_{\bigodot }$ haloes, such that the dominant mode of removing Lyα photons in non-LAEs changes from low-IGM transmission to high dust absorption around z ∼ 7.

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  5. Abstract

    Supersonically induced gas objects (SIGOs) are a class of early universe objects that have gained attention as a potential formation route for globular clusters. SIGOs have recently begun to be studied in the context of molecular hydrogen cooling, which is key to characterizing their structure and evolution. Studying the population-level properties of SIGOs with molecular cooling is important for understanding their potential for collapse and star formation, and for addressing whether SIGOs can survive to the present epoch. Here, we investigate the evolution of SIGOs before they form stars, using a combination of numerical and analytical analysis. We study timescales important to the evolution of SIGOs at a population level in the presence of molecular cooling. Revising the previous formulation for the critical density of collapse for SIGOs allows us to show that their prolateness tends to act as an inhibiting factor to collapse. We find that simulated SIGOs are limited by artificial two-body relaxation effects that tend to disperse them. We expect that SIGOs in nature will be longer lived compared to our simulations. Further, the fall-back timescale on which SIGOs fall into nearby dark matter halos, potentially producing a globular-cluster-like system, is frequently longer than their cooling timescale and the collapse timescale on which they shrink through gravity. Therefore, some SIGOs have time to cool and collapse outside of halos despite initially failing to exceed the critical density. From this analysis we conclude that SIGOs should form stars outside of halos in nonnegligible stream velocity patches in the universe.

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    We present a new set of cosmological zoom-in simulations of a Milky Way (MW)-like galaxy that for the first time include elastic velocity-dependent self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) and IllustrisTNG physics. With these simulations, we investigate the interaction between SIDM and baryons and its effects on the galaxy evolution process. We also introduce a novel set of modified dark matter-only simulations that can reasonably replicate the effects of fully realized hydrodynamics on the DM halo while simplifying the analysis and lowering the computational cost. We find that baryons change the thermal structure of the central region of the halo to a greater extent than the SIDM scatterings for MW-like galaxies. Additionally, we find that the new thermal structure of the MW-like halo causes SIDM to create cuspier central densities rather than cores because the SIDM scatterings remove the thermal support by transferring heat away from the centre of the galaxy. We find that this effect, caused by baryon contraction, begins to affect galaxies with a stellar mass of 108 M⊙ and increases in strength to the MW-mass scale.

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    Backsplash galaxies are galaxies that once resided inside a cluster, and have migrated back outside as they move towards the apocentre of their orbit. The kinematic properties of these galaxies are well understood, thanks to the significant study of backsplashers in dark matter-only simulations, but their intrinsic properties are not well-constrained due to modelling uncertainties in subgrid physics, ram pressure stripping, dynamical friction, and tidal forces. In this paper, we use the IllustrisTNG300-1 simulation, with a baryonic resolution of Mb ≈ 1.1 × 107 M⊙, to study backsplash galaxies around 1302 isolated galaxy clusters with mass 1013.0 < M200,mean/M⊙ < 1015.5. We employ a decision tree classifier to extract features of galaxies that make them likely to be backsplash galaxies, compared to nearby field galaxies, and find that backsplash galaxies have low gas fractions, high mass-to-light ratios, large stellar sizes, and low black hole occupation fractions. We investigate in detail the origins of these large sizes, and hypothesize their origins are linked to the tidal environments in the cluster. We show that the black hole recentring scheme employed in many cosmological simulations leads to the loss of black holes from galaxies accreted into clusters, and suggest improvements to these models. Generally, we find that backsplash galaxies are a useful population to test and understand numerical galaxy formation models due to their challenging environments and evolutionary pathways that interact with poorly constrained physics.

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    We present a post-processing catalogue of globular clusters (GCs) for the 39 most massive groups and clusters in the TNG50 simulation of the IlllustrisTNG project (virial masses $M_{200} =[5\times 10^{12} \rm {\!-\!} 2 \times 10^{14}$] M⊙). We tag GC particles to all galaxies with stellar mass M* ≥ 5 × 106 M⊙, and we calibrate their masses to reproduce the observed power-law relation between GC mass and halo mass for galaxies with M200 ≥ 1011 M⊙ (corresponding to M* ∼ 109 M⊙). Here, we explore whether an extrapolation of this MGC–M200 relation to lower mass dwarfs is consistent with current observations. We find a good agreement between our predicted number and specific frequency of GCs in dwarfs with $\rm {\it M}_*=[5 \times 10^6 \rm {\!-\!} 10^9]$ M⊙ and observations. Moreover, we predict a steep decline in the GC occupation fraction for dwarfs with M* < 109 M⊙ that agrees well with current observational constraints. This declining occupation fraction is due to a combination of tidal stripping in all dwarfs plus a stochastic sampling of the GC mass function for dwarfs with M* < 107.5 M⊙. Our simulations also reproduce available constraints on the abundance of intracluster GCs in Virgo and Centaurus A. These successes provide support to the hypothesis that the MGC–M200 relation holds, albeit with more scatter, all the way down to the regime of classical dwarf spheroidals in these environments. Our GC catalogues are publicly available as part of the IllustrisTNG data release.

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    We quantify the impact of galaxy formation on dark matter halo shapes using cosmological simulations at redshift z = 0. Using magnetohydrodynamic simulations from the IllustrisTNG project, we focus on haloes of mass $10^{10\!-\!14} \, \rm M_{\odot }$ from the 50 Mpc (TNG50) and 100 Mpc (TNG100) boxes and compare them to dark matter-only (DMO) analogues and other simulations, e.g. Numerical Investigation of a Hundred Astrophysical Objects (NIHAO) and Evolution and Assembly of GaLaxies and their Environments (EAGLE). We further quantify the prediction uncertainty by varying the feedback models using smaller 25 ${\rm Mpc}\, h^{-1}$ boxes. We find that (i) galaxy formation results in rounder haloes compared to DMO simulations, in qualitative agreement with past results. Haloes of mass ${\approx }2\times 10^{12} \, \rm M_{\odot }$ are most spherical, with an average minor-to-major axial ratio of $\langle s \rangle$ ≈ 0.75 in the inner halo, an increase of 40 per cent compared to their DMO counterparts. No significant difference is present for low-mass $10^{10} \, \rm M_{\odot }$ haloes; (ii) stronger feedback, e.g. increasing galactic wind speed, reduces the impact of baryons; (iii) the inner halo shape correlates with the stellar mass fraction, explaining the dependence of halo shapes on feedback models; and (iv) the fiducial and weaker feedback models are most consistent with observational estimates of the Milky Way halo shape. At fixed halo mass, very diverse and possibly unrealistic feedback models all predict inner shapes closer to one another than to the DMO results. Because of the large halo-to-halo variation in halo shape, a larger observational sample is required to statistically distinguish different baryonic prescriptions.

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    We perform cosmological zoom-in simulations of 19 relaxed cluster-mass haloes with the inclusion of adiabatic gas in the cold dark matter (CDM) and self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) models. These clusters are selected as dynamically relaxed clusters from a parent simulation with $M_{\rm 200} \simeq (1\!-\!3)\times 10^{15}{\, \rm M_\odot }$. Both the dark matter and the intracluster gas distributions in SIDM appear more spherical than their CDM counterparts. Mock X-ray images are generated based on the simulations and are compared to the real X-ray images of 84 relaxed clusters selected from the Chandra and ROSAT archives. We perform ellipse fitting for the isophotes of mock and real X-ray images and obtain the ellipticities at cluster-centric radii of $r\simeq 0.1\!-\!0.2R_{\rm 200}$. The X-ray isophotes in SIDM models with increasing cross-sections are rounder than their CDM counterparts, which manifests as a systematic shift in the distribution function of ellipticities. Unexpectedly, the X-ray morphology of the observed non-cool-core clusters agrees better with SIDM models with cross-section $(\sigma /m)= 0.5\!-\!1\, {\rm cm}^2\, {\rm g}^{-1}$ than CDM and SIDM with $(\sigma /m)=0.1\, {\rm cm}^2\, {\rm g}^{-1}$. Our statistical analysis indicates that the latter two models are disfavoured at the $68{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ confidence level (as conservative estimates). This conclusion is not altered by shifting the radial range of measurements or applying a temperature selection criterion. However, the primary uncertainty originates from the lack of baryonic physics in the adiabatic model, such as cooling, star formation and feedback effects, which still have the potential to reconcile CDM simulations with observations.

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