549 research outputs found

    A link between feedback outflows and satellite galaxy suppression

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    We suggest a direct link between the two "missing" baryon problems of contemporary galaxy formation theory: (1) that large galaxies are known to contain too little gas and stars and (2) that too few dwarf satellite galaxies are observed around large galaxies compared with cosmological simulations. The former can be explained by invoking some energetic process -- most likely AGN or star formation feedback -- which expels to infinity a significant fraction of the gas initially present in the proto-galaxy, while the latter problem is usually explained by star formation feedback inside the dwarf or tidal and ram pressure stripping of the gas from the satellite galaxy by its parent. Here we point out that the host galaxy "missing" baryons, if indeed ejected at velocities of hundreds to a thousand km s1^{-1}, must also affect smaller satellite galaxies by stripping or shocking the gas there. We estimate the fraction of gas removed from the satellites as a function of the satellite galaxy's properties. Applying these results to a Milky Way like dark matter halo, we find that this singular shock ram pressure stripping event may be quite efficient in removing the gas from the satellites provided that they are close enough. We also use the orbital and mass modelling data for eight Galactic dwarf spheroidal (dSph) satellites, and find that it is likely that many of them have been affected by the Galactic outflow. We point out that galactic outflows of the host may also trigger a starburst in the satellite galaxies by over-pressuring their gas discs. This process may be responsible for the formation of the globular clusters observed in some of the Milky Way's dSphs (e.g. the Fornax and Sagittarius dSphs).Comment: appearing in MNRAS; 9 page

    Dark Matter In Disk Galaxies II: Density Profiles as Constraints on Feedback Scenarios

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    The disparity between the density profiles of galactic dark matter haloes predicted by dark matter only cosmological simulations and those inferred from rotation curve decomposition, the so-called cusp-core problem, suggests that baryonic physics has an impact on dark matter density in the central regions of galaxies. Feedback from black holes, supernovae and massive stars may each play a role by removing matter from the centre of the galaxy on shorter timescales than the dynamical time of the dark matter halo. Our goal in this paper is to determine constraints on such feedback scenarios based on the observed properties of a set of nearby galaxies. Using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) analysis of galactic rotation curves, via a method developed in a previous paper, we constrain density profiles and an estimated minimum radius for baryon influence, r1r_1, which we couple with a feedback model to give an estimate of the fraction of matter within that radius that must be expelled to produce the presently observed halo profile. We show that in the case of the gas rich dwarf irregular galaxy DDO 154, an outflow from a central source (e.g. a black hole or star forming region) could produce sufficient feedback on the halo without removing the disk gas. We examine the rotation curves of 8 galaxies taken from the THINGS data set and determine constraints on the radial density profiles of their dark matter haloes. For some of the galaxies, both cored haloes and cosmological ρr1\rho \propto r^{-1} cusps are excluded. These intermediate central slopes require baryonic feedback to be finely tuned. We also find for galaxies which exhibit extended cores in their haloes (e.g. NGC 925), the use of a split power-law halo profile yields models without the unphysical, sharp features seen in models based on the Einasto profile.Comment: 17 pages, 19 figures Submitted to MNRA

    Competitive feedback in galaxy formation

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    It is now well established that many galaxies have nuclear star clusters (NCs) whose total masses correlate with the velocity dispersion (sigma) of the galaxy spheroid in a very similar way to the well--known supermassive black hole (SMBH) M - sigma relation. Previous theoretical work suggested that both correlations can be explained by a momentum feedback argument. Observations further show that most known NCs have masses < 10^8 Msun, while SMBHs frequently have masses > 10^8 Msun, which remained unexplained in previous work. We suggest here that this changeover reflects a competition between the SMBH and nuclear clusters in the feedback they produce. When one of the massive objects reaches its limiting M-sigma value, it drives the gas away and hence cuts off its own mass and also the mass of the ``competitor''. The latter is then underweight with respect to the expected M-sigma mass (abridged).Comment: To appear in MNRAS Letter

    A low pre-infall mass for the Carina dwarf galaxy from disequilibrium modelling

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    Dark matter only simulations of galaxy formation predict many more subhalos around a Milky Way like galaxy than the number of observed satellites. Proposed solutions require the satellites to inhabit dark matter halos with masses between one to ten billion solar masses at the time they fell into the Milky Way. Here we use a modelling approach, independent of cosmological simulations, to obtain a preinfall mass of 360 (+380,-230) million solar masses for one of the Milky Way's satellites: Carina. This determination of a low halo mass for Carina can be accommodated within the standard model only if galaxy formation becomes stochastic in halos below ten billion solar masses. Otherwise Carina, the eighth most luminous Milky Way dwarf, would be expected to inhabit a significantly more massive halo. The implication of this is that a population of "dark dwarfs" should orbit the Milky Way: halos devoid of stars and yet more massive than many of their visible counterparts.Comment: 5 pages, 3 figures, 1 table, and supplementary material availabl

    The mass distribution of the Fornax dSph: constraints from its globular cluster distribution

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    Uniquely among the dwarf spheroidal (dSph) satellite galaxies of the Milky Way, Fornax hosts globular clusters. It remains a puzzle as to why dynamical friction has not yet dragged any of Fornax's five globular clusters to the centre, and also why there is no evidence that any similar star cluster has been in the past (for Fornax or any other dSph). We set up a suite of 2800 N-body simulations that sample the full range of globular-cluster orbits and mass models consistent with all existing observational constraints for Fornax. In agreement with previous work, we find that if Fornax has a large dark-matter core then its globular clusters remain close to their currently observed locations for long times. Furthermore, we find previously unreported behaviour for clusters that start inside the core region. These are pushed out of the core and gain orbital energy, a process we call 'dynamical buoyancy'. Thus a cored mass distribution in Fornax will naturally lead to a shell-like globular cluster distribution near the core radius, independent of the initial conditions. By contrast, CDM-type cusped mass distributions lead to the rapid infall of at least one cluster within \Delta t = 1-2Gyr, except when picking unlikely initial conditions for the cluster orbits (\sim 2% probability), and almost all clusters within \Delta t = 10Gyr. Alternatively, if Fornax has only a weakly cusped mass distribution, dynamical friction is much reduced. While over \Delta t = 10Gyr this still leads to the infall of 1-4 clusters from their present orbits, the infall of any cluster within \Delta t = 1-2Gyr is much less likely (with probability 0-70%, depending on \Delta t and the strength of the cusp). Such a solution to the timing problem requires that in the past the globular clusters were somewhat further from Fornax than today; they most likely did not form within Fornax, but were accreted.Comment: 12 pages, 8 figures, 3 tables, submitted to MNRA

    A spectroscopic binary in the Hercules dwarf spheroidal galaxy

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    We present the radial velocity curve of a single-lined spectroscopic binary in the faint Hercules dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxy, based on 34 individual spectra covering more than two years of observations. This is the first time that orbital elements could be derived for a binary in a dSph. The system consists of a metal-poor red giant and a low-mass companion, possibly a white dwarf, with a 135-days period in a moderately eccentric (e=0.18e=0.18) orbit. Its period and eccentricity are fully consistent with metal-poor binaries in the Galactic halo, while the projected semimajor axis is small, at apa_p sinii = 38 Rsun_{sun}. In fact, a very close orbit could inhibit the production of heavier elements through ss-process nucleosynthesis, leading to the very low abundances of neutron-capture elements that are found in this star. We discuss the further implications for the chemical enrichment history of the Hercules dSph, but find no compelling binary scenario that could reasonably explain the full, peculiar abundance pattern of the Hercules dSph galaxy.Comment: 7 pages, 3 figures, accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journa

    An inefficient dwarf: Chemical abundances and the evolution of the Ursa Minor dwarf spheroidal galaxy

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    We present detailed chemical element abundance ratios of 17 elements in three metal poor stars in the Ursa Minor dwarf spheroidal galaxy, which we combine with extant data from the literature to assess the predictions of a novel suite of galaxy chemical evolution models. The spectroscopic data were obtained with the Keck/HIRES instrument and revealed low metallicities of [Fe/H]=-2.12, -2.13 and -2.67 dex. While the most metal poor star in our sample shows an overabundance of [Mn/Fe] and other Fe-peak elements, our overall findings are in agreement with previous studies of this galaxy: elevated values of the [alpha/Fe] ratios that are similar to, or only slightly lower than, the halo values but with SN Ia enrichment at very low metallicity, as well as an enhancement of the ratio of first to second peak neutron capture elements [Y/Ba] with decreasing metallicity. The chemical evolution models which were tailored to reproduce the metallicity distribution function of the dSph, indicate that UMi had an extended star formation which lasted nearly 5 Gyr with low efficiency and are able to explain the [Y/Ba] enhancement at low metallicity for the first time. In particular, we show that the present day lack of gas is probably due to continuous loss of gas from the system, which we model as winds.Comment: 10 pages, 7 figures, table

    Dark matter in disk galaxies I: a Markov Chain Monte Carlo method and application to DDO 154

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    We present a new method to constrain the dark matter halo density profiles of disk galaxies. Our algorithm employs a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approach to explore the parameter space of a general family of dark matter profiles. We improve upon previous analyses by considering a wider range of halo profiles and by explicitly identifying cases in which the data are insufficient to break the degeneracies between the model parameters. We demonstrate the robustness of our algorithm using artificial data sets and show that reliable estimates of the halo density profile can be obtained from data of comparable quality to those currently available for low surface brightness (LSB) galaxies. We present our results in terms of physical quantities which are constrained by the data, and find that the logarithmic slope of the halo density profile at the radius of the innermost data point of a measured rotation curve can be strongly constrained in LSB ([Vstar/Vobs]max ~ 0.16) galaxies. High surface brightness galaxies ([Vstar/Vobs]max ~ 0.79) require additional information on the mass-to-light ratio of the stellar population - our approach naturally identifies those galaxies for which this is necessary. We apply our method to observed data for the dwarf irregular galaxy DDO 154 and recover a logarithmic halo slope of -0.39 +- 0.11 at a radius of 0.14 kpc. Our analysis validates earlier estimates which were based on the fitting of a limited set of individual halo models, but constitutes a more robust constraint than was possible using other techniques since it marginalises over a wide range of halo profiles.Comment: Accepted by MNRAS 20/05/1