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Bulgeless dwarf galaxies and dark matter cores from supernova-driven outflows

Governato, F. and Brook, C. and Mayer, L. and Brooks, A. and Rhee, G. and Wadsley, J. and Jonsson, P. and Willman, B. and Stinson, G. and Quinn, T. and Madau, P. (2010) Bulgeless dwarf galaxies and dark matter cores from supernova-driven outflows. Nature, 463 (7278). pp. 203-206. ISSN 0028-0836.

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For almost two decades the properties of ‘dwarf’ galaxies have challenged the cold dark matter (CDM) model of galaxy formation^1. Most observed dwarf galaxies consist of a rotating stellar disk^2 embedded in a massive dark-matter halo with a near-constant-density core^3. Models based on the dominance of CDM, however, invariably form galaxies with dense spheroidal stellar bulges and steep central dark-matter profiles^(4,5,6,) because low-angular-momentum baryons and dark matter sink to the centres of galaxies through accretion and repeated mergers^7. Processes that decrease the central density of CDM halos^8 have been identified, but have not yet reconciled theory with observations of present-day dwarfs. This failure is potentially catastrophic for the CDM model, possibly requiring a different dark-matter particle candidate^9. Here we report hydrodynamical simulations (in a framework^(10) assuming the presence of CDM and a cosmological constant) in which the inhomogeneous interstellar medium is resolved. Strong outflows from supernovae remove low-angular-momentum gas, which inhibits the formation of bulges and decreases the dark-matter density to less than half of what it would otherwise be within the central kiloparsec. The analogues of dwarf galaxies—bulgeless and with shallow central dark-matter profiles—arise naturally in these simulations.

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Willman, B.0000-0003-2892-9906
Additional Information:© 2010 Nature Publishing Group. Received 8 September 2009; Accepted 5 November 2009. We acknowledge discussions with L. Blitz, A. Kravtsov, J. Primack, I. Trujillo and V. Wild. We thank R. Swaters and the THINGS team for sharing some of their data with us. L.M. and C.B. thank the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, for hospitality during the early stages of this work. F.G. and P.M. thank the computer support people at Nasa Advanced Supercomputing, TERAGRID, ARSC and UW, where the simulations were run. Author Contributions: F.G. provided the scientific leadership, designed the numerical experiments, wrote the paper and led the analysis and interpretation of the simulations. C.B. and A.B. performed part of the analysis. C.B., L.M., A.B., B.W. and P.M. helped with the interpretation and the writing of the manuscript. J.W., T.Q. and G.S. developed GASOLINE, the code used for the simulations. P.J. developed the analysis code SUNRISE. G.R. performed the kinematical analysis of the simulations.
Issue or Number:7278
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:17363
Deposited By: Joy Painter
Deposited On:29 Mar 2010 22:56
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 01:26

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