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Early-type galaxy density profiles from IllustrisTNG – II. Evolutionary trend of the total density profile

Wang, Yunchong and Vogelsberger, Mark and Xu, Dandan and Shen, Xuejian and Mao, Shude and Barnes, David and Li, Hui and Marinacci, Federico and Torrey, Paul and Springel, Volker and Hernquist, Lars (2019) Early-type galaxy density profiles from IllustrisTNG – II. Evolutionary trend of the total density profile. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 490 (4). pp. 5722-5738. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stz2907.

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We study the evolutionary trend of the total density profile of early-type galaxies (ETGs) in IllustrisTNG. To this end, we trace ETGs from z = 0 to 4 and measure the power-law slope γ′ of the total density profile for their main progenitors. We find that their slopes γ′ steepen on average during z ∼ 4–2, then becoming shallower until z = 1, after which they remain almost constant, aside from a residual trend of becoming shallower towards z = 0. We also compare to a statistical sample of ETGs at different redshifts, selected based on their luminosity profiles and stellar masses. Due to different selection effects, the average slopes of the statistical samples follow a modified evolutionary trend. They monotonically decrease since z = 3, and after z ≈ 1, they remain nearly invariant with a mild increase towards z = 0. These evolutionary trends are mass dependent for both samples, with low-mass galaxies having in general steeper slopes than their more massive counterparts. Galaxies that transitioned to ETGs more recently have steeper mean slopes as they tend to be smaller and more compact at any given redshift. By analysing the impact of mergers and AGN feedback on the progenitors’ evolution, we conjecture a multiphase path leading to isothermality in ETGs: dissipation associated with rapid wet mergers tends to steepen γ′ from z = 4 to 2, whereas subsequent AGN feedback (especially in the kinetic mode) makes γ′ shallower again from z = 2 to 1. Afterwards, passive evolution from z = 1 to 0, mainly through gas-poor mergers, mildly decreases γ′ and maintains the overall mass distribution close to isothermal.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Wang, Yunchong0000-0001-8913-626X
Vogelsberger, Mark0000-0001-8593-7692
Xu, Dandan0000-0002-0355-2906
Shen, Xuejian0000-0002-6196-823X
Mao, Shude0000-0001-8317-2788
Barnes, David0000-0002-6583-9478
Li, Hui0000-0002-1253-2763
Marinacci, Federico0000-0003-3816-7028
Torrey, Paul0000-0002-5653-0786
Springel, Volker0000-0001-5976-4599
Hernquist, Lars0000-0001-6950-1629
Additional Information:© 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2019 October 11. Received 2019 October 9; in original form 2019 June 25. We thank Annalisa Pillepich, Daniel Eisenstein, Dylan Nelson, Rhea-Silvia Remus, Ryan McKinnon, and Stephanie O’Neil for helpful discussions and support during the preparation of this paper. We thank the anonymous referee for carefully reading the draft and providing insightful comments that helped to improve this paper. YW acknowledges the Tsinghua Xuetang Talents Programme for funding his research at MIT. MV acknowledges support through an MIT RSC award, a Kavli Research Investment Fund, NASA ATP grant NNX17AG29G, and NSF grants AST-1814053 and AST-1814259. DX would like to thank the supercomputing facilities at the Heidelberg Institute for Advanced Studies and the Klaus Tschira Foundation. This work is partly supported by a joint grant between the DFG and NSFC (Grant No. 11761131004), the National Key Basic Research and Development Programme of China (No. 2018YFA0404501), and grant 11761131004 of NSFC. FM acknowledges support through the Programme ‘Rita Levi Montalcini’ of the Italian MIUR.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Tsinghua Xuetang Talents ProgrammeUNSPECIFIED
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)UNSPECIFIED
Kavli FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Klaus Tschira FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)UNSPECIFIED
National Natural Science Foundation of China11761131004
National Key Basic Research and Development Programme of China2018YFA0404501
National Natural Science Foundation of China11761131004
Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca (MIUR)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:methods: numerical, Galaxy: evolution, galaxies: formation, galaxies: structure, cosmology: theory
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200109-143244817
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Yunchong Wang, Mark Vogelsberger, Dandan Xu, Xuejian Shen, Shude Mao, David Barnes, Hui Li, Federico Marinacci, Paul Torrey, Volker Springel, Lars Hernquist, Early-type galaxy density profiles from IllustrisTNG – II. Evolutionary trend of the total density profile, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 490, Issue 4, December 2019, Pages 5722–5738,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100617
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:10 Jan 2020 16:03
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:55

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