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    The star formation and gas content of satellite galaxies around the Milky Way (MW) and Andromeda (M31) are depleted relative to more isolated galaxies in the Local Group (LG) at fixed stellar mass. We explore the environmental regulation of gas content and quenching of star formation in z = 0 galaxies at $M_{*}=10^{5\!-\!10}\, \rm {M}_{\odot }$ around 14 MW-mass hosts from the Feedback In Realistic Environments 2 (FIRE-2) simulations. Lower mass satellites ($M_{*}\lesssim 10^7\, \rm {M}_{\odot }$) are mostly quiescent and higher mass satellites ($M_{*}\gtrsim 10^8\, \rm {M}_{\odot }$) are mostly star forming, with intermediate-mass satellites ($M_{*}\approx 10^{7\!-\!8}\, \rm {M}_{\odot }$) split roughly equally between quiescent and star forming. Hosts with more gas in their circumgalactic medium have a higher quiescent fraction of massive satellites ($M_{*}=10^{8\!-\!9}\, \rm {M}_{\odot }$). We find no significant dependence on isolated versus paired (LG-like) host environments, and the quiescent fractions of satellites around MW-mass and Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC)-mass hosts from the FIRE-2 simulations are remarkably similar. Environmental effects that lead to quenching can also occur as pre-processing in low-mass groups prior to MW infall. Lower mass satellites typically quenched before MW infall as central galaxies or rapidly during infall into a low-mass group ormore »a MW-mass galaxy. Most intermediate- to high-mass quiescent satellites have experienced ≥1–2 pericentre passages (≈2.5–5 Gyr) within a MW-mass halo. Most galaxies with $M_{*}\gtrsim 10^{6.5}\, \rm {M}_{\odot }$ did not quench before falling into a host, indicating a possible upper mass limit for isolated quenching. The simulations reproduce the average trend in the LG quiescent fraction across the full range of satellite stellar masses. Though the simulations are consistent with the Satellites Around Galactic Analogs (SAGA) survey’s quiescent fraction at $M_{*}\gtrsim 10^8\, \rm {M}_{\odot }$, they do not generally reproduce SAGA’s turnover at lower masses.

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    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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  3. Abstract The recent discovery of the extremely lensed Earendel object at z = 6.2 is remarkable in that it is likely a single star or stellar multiple, observed within the first billion years of cosmic history. Depending on its mass, which is still uncertain but will soon be more tightly constrained with the James Webb Space Telescope, the Earendel star might even be a member of the first generation of stars, the so-called Population III (Pop III). By combining results from detailed cosmological simulations of the assembly of the first galaxies, including the enrichment of the pristine gas with heavy chemical elements, with assumptions on key stellar parameters, we quantify the probability that Earendel indeed has a Pop III origin. We find that this probability is nonnegligible throughout the mass range inferred for Earendel, specifically ranging from a few percent at the lower-mass end to near unity for some Pop III initial mass function (IMF) models toward the high-mass end of the allowed range. For models that extend the metal-enriched IMF to 500 M ⊙ , the likelihood of Earendel being a Pop III star stays at the few to 10% level. We discuss the implications of such a discoverymore »for the overall endeavor to probe the hitherto so elusive first stars in the universe.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  4. 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
  5. Abstract We use IllustrisTNG simulations to explore the dynamic scaling relation between massive clusters and their—central—brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs). The IllustrisTNG-300 simulation we use includes 280 massive clusters from the z = 0 snapshot with M 200 > 10 14 M ⊙ , enabling a robust statistical analysis. We derive the line-of-sight velocity dispersion of the stellar particles of the BCGs ( σ *,BCG ), analogous to the observed BCG stellar velocity dispersion. We also compute the subhalo velocity dispersion to measure the cluster velocity dispersion ( σ cl ). Both σ *,BCG and σ cl are proportional to the cluster halo mass, but the slopes differ slightly. Thus, like the observed relation, σ *,BCG / σ cl declines as a function of σ cl , but the scatter is large. We explore the redshift evolution of the σ *,BCG − σ cl scaling relation for z ≲ 1 in a way that can be compared directly with observations. The scaling relation has a similar slope at high redshift, but the scatter increases because of the large scatter in σ *,BCG . The simulations imply that high-redshift BCGs are dynamically more complex than their low-redshift counterparts.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  6. ABSTRACT We explore how the splashback radius (Rsp) of galaxy clusters, measured using the number density of the subhalo population, changes based on various selection criteria using the IllustrisTNG cosmological galaxy formation simulation. We identify Rsp by extracting the steepest radial gradient in a stacked set of clusters in 0.5 dex wide mass bins, with our clusters having halo masses 1013 ≤ M200,mean/M⊙ ≤ 1015. We apply cuts in subhalo mass, galaxy stellar mass, i-band absolute magnitude, and specific star formation rate. We find that, generally, galaxies of increasing mass and luminosity trace smaller measured splashback radii relative to the intrinsic dark matter radius. We also show that quenched galaxies may be used to reliably reconstruct the dark matter splashback radius. This trend is likely due to changes in the galaxy population. Additionally, we are able to reconcile different observational predictions that Rsp based upon galaxy number counts and dark matter may either align or show significant offset (e.g. those using optically or SZ-selected clusters) through the selection functions that these studies employ. Finally, we demonstrate that changes in Rsp measured through number counts are not due to a simple change in galaxy abundance inside and outside of the cluster.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 26, 2023