THE IMPACT of STELLAR FEEDBACK on the STRUCTURE, SIZE, and MORPHOLOGY of GALAXIES in MILKY-WAY-SIZED DARK MATTER HALOS

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We use cosmological zoom-in simulations of galaxy formation in a Milky-Way-sized halo started from identical initial conditions to investigate the evolution of galaxy sizes, baryon fractions, morphologies, and angular momenta in runs with different parameters of the star formation-feedback cycle. Our fiducial model with a high local star formation efficiency, which results in efficient feedback, produces a realistic late-type galaxy that matches the evolution of basic properties of late-type galaxies: stellar mass, disk size, morphology dominated by a kinematically cold disk, stellar and gas surface density profiles, and specific angular momentum. We argue that feedback's role in this success is twofold: (1) removal of low angular momentum gas, and (2) maintaining a low disk-to-halo mass fraction, which suppresses disk instabilities that lead to angular momentum redistribution and a central concentration of baryons. However, our model with a low local star formation efficiency, but large energy input per supernova, chosen to produce a galaxy with a similar star formation history as our fiducial model, leads to a highly irregular galaxy with no kinematically cold component, overly extended stellar distribution, and low angular momentum. This indicates that only when feedback is allowed to become vigorous via locally efficient star formation in dense cold gas do resulting galaxy sizes, gas/stellar surface density profiles, and stellar disk angular momenta agree with observed z = 0 galaxies.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Chicago
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Keywords

  • Galaxies: evolution, galaxies: formation, galaxies: ISM, galaxies: star formation, galaxies: structure -methods: numerical
Original languageEnglish
Article number79
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume824
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun 20
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes