1,753 research outputs found

    Numerical simulations of galaxy evolution in cosmological context

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    Large volume cosmological simulations succeed in reproducing the large-scale structure of the Universe. However, they lack resolution and may not take into account all relevant physical processes to test if the detail properties of galaxies can be explained by the CDM paradigm. On the other hand, galaxy-scale simulations could resolve this in a robust way but do not usually include a realistic cosmological context. To study galaxy evolution in cosmological context, we use a new method that consists in coupling cosmological simulations and galactic scale simulations. For this, we record merger and gas accretion histories from cosmological simulations and re-simulate at very high resolution the evolution of baryons and dark matter within the virial radius of a target galaxy. This allows us for example to better take into account gas evolution and associated star formation, to finely study the internal evolution of galaxies and their disks in a realistic cosmological context. We aim at obtaining a statistical view on galaxy evolution from z = 2 to 0, and we present here the first results of the study: we mainly stress the importance of taking into account gas accretion along filaments to understand galaxy evolution.Comment: 6 pages - Proceedings of IAU Symposium 254 "The Galaxy disk in cosmological context", Copenhagen, June 2008 - Movies available at http://aramis.obspm.fr/~bournaud/stargas35small.avi and http://aramis.obspm.fr/~bournaud/stargasZ35_small.av

    Tidal Debris posing as Dark Galaxies

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    Debris sent into the intergalactic medium during tidal collisions can tell us about several fundamental properties of galaxies, in particular their missing mass, both in the form of cosmological Dark Matter and so-called Lost Baryons. High velocity encounters, which are common in clusters of galaxies, are able to produce faint tidal debris that may appear as star-less, free floating HI clouds. These may be mistaken for Dark Galaxies, a putative class of gaseous, dark matter dominated, objects which for some reason never managed to form stars. VirgoHI21 is by far the most spectacular and most discussed Dark Galaxy candidate so far detected in HI surveys. We show here that it is most likely made out of material expelled 750 Myr ago from the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 4254 during its fly--by at about 1000 km/s by a massive intruder. Our numerical model of the collision is able to reproduce the main characteristics of the system: in particular the absence of stars, and its prominent velocity gradient. Originally attributed to the gas being in rotation within a massive dark matter halo, we find it instead to be consistent with a combination of simple streaming motion plus projection effects (Duc & Bournaud, 2007). We discuss several ways to identify a tidal origin in a Dark Galaxy candidate and illustrate the method using another HI system in Virgo, VCC 2062, which is most likely a Tidal Dwarf Galaxy (Duc et al., 2007). Now, whereas tidal debris should not contain any dark matter from the halo of their parent galaxies, it may exhibit missing mass in the form of dark baryons, unaccounted for by classical observations, as recently found in the collisional ring of NGC 5291 (Bournaud et al., 2007) and probably in the TDG VCC 2062. These "Lost Baryons" must originally have been located in the disks of their parent galaxies.Comment: 10 pages, 4 figures, to appear in IAU symposium 244 "Dark Galaxies and Lost Baryons

    Tidal Dwarf Galaxies and missing baryons

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    Tidal dwarf galaxies form during the interaction, collision or merger of massive spiral galaxies. They can resemble "normal" dwarf galaxies in terms of mass, size, and become dwarf satellites orbiting around their massive progenitor. They nevertheless keep some signatures from their origin, making them interesting targets for cosmological studies. In particular, they should be free from dark matter from a spheroidal halo. Flat rotation curves and high dynamical masses may then indicate the presence of an unseen component, and constrain the properties of the "missing baryons", known to exist but not directly observed. The number of dwarf galaxies in the Universe is another cosmological problem that can be significantly impacted if tidal dwarf galaxies formed frequently at high redshift, when the merger rate was high, and many of them survived until today.Comment: Tutorial Review for the special issue "Dwarf galaxies and Cosmology" in Advances in Astronomy. (10 pages, 4 figures

    Galaxy mergers at high resolution: From elliptical galaxies to tidal dwarfs and globular clusters

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    Numerical simulations of galaxy mergers are a powerful tool to study these fundamental events in the hierarchical built-up of galaxies. Recent progress have been made owing to improved modeling, increased resolution and large statistical samples. We present here the highest-resolution models of mergers performed so far. The formation of a variety of substructures ranging from kinematically decoupled cores to globular-like clusters is directly resolved. In a resolution study, we show that the large-scale structure of elliptical-like merger remnants can be affected by the resolution, and a too modest resolution may affect the numerical predictions on the properties of major merger remnants: understanding precisely which kind of event or succession of events has formed the various types of elliptical galaxies remains an open challenge.Comment: To be published in the proceedings of the "Galactic and Stellar Dynamics 2008" conference. 4 page

    Polar ring galaxies: formation and properties

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    Formation scenarios for polar ring galaxies are studied through N-body simulatio ns that are compared with existing observations. It is shown that polar rings ar e likely to be formed by tidal accretion of the polar material from a gas rich d onor galaxy. The distribution of dark matter in polar ring galaxies is studied: dark halos seem to be flattened towards the polar rings.Comment: 2 pages, 1 figure, Proceedings SF2A-2002, Paris, ed. F. Combes and D. Barret, EDP-Science

    Gaseous Flows in Galaxies

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    The gas component plays a major role in the dynamics of spiral galaxies, because of its dissipative character, and its ability to exchange angular momentum with stars in the disk. Due to its small velocity dispersion, it triggers gravitational instabilities, and the corresponding non-axisymmetric patterns produce gravity torques, which mediate these angular momentum exchanges. When a srong bar pattern develops with the same pattern speed all over the disk, only gas inside corotation can flow towards the center. But strong bars are not long lived in presence of gas, and multiple-speed spiral patterns can develop between bar phases, and help the galaxy to accrete external gas flowing from cosmic filaments. The gas is then intermittently driven to the galaxy center, to form nuclear starbursts and fuel an active nucleus. The various time-scales of these gaseous flows are described.Comment: 10 pages, 6 figures, review paper in the Proceedings of the IAU Symposium 245, "Formation and Evolution of Galaxy Bulges", held at Oxford, U.K., July 2007, Eds. M. Bureau, E. Athanassoula, B. Barbu

    Star formation laws and thresholds from ISM structure and turbulence

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    We present an analytical model of the relation between the surface density of gas and star formation rate in galaxies and clouds, as a function of the presence of supersonic turbulence and the associated structure of the interstellar medium. The model predicts a power-law relation of index 3/2, flattened under the effects of stellar feedback at high densities or in very turbulent media, and a break at low surface densities when ISM turbulence becomes too weak to induce strong compression. This model explains the diversity of star formation laws and thresholds observed in nearby spirals and their resolved regions, the Small Magellanic Cloud, high-redshift disks and starbursting mergers, as well as Galactic molecular clouds. While other models have proposed interstellar dust content and molecule formation to be key ingredients to the observed variations of the star formation efficiency, we demonstrate instead that these variations can be explained by interstellar medium turbulence and structure in various types of galaxies.Comment: 6 pages, re-submitted to ApJL after referee repor
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