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Sweating the small stuff: simulating dwarf galaxies, ultra-faint dwarf galaxies, and their own tiny satellites

Wheeler, Coral and Oñorbe, Jose and Bullock, James S. and Boylan-Kolchin, Michael and Elbert, Oliver and Garrison-Kimmel, Shea and Hopkins, Philip F. and Kereš, Dušan (2015) Sweating the small stuff: simulating dwarf galaxies, ultra-faint dwarf galaxies, and their own tiny satellites. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 453 (2). pp. 1305-1316. ISSN 0035-8711.

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We present Feedback in Realistic Environment (FIRE)/GIZMO hydrodynamic zoom-in simulations of isolated dark matter haloes, two each at the mass of classical dwarf galaxies (M_(vir) ≃ 10^(10)  M_⊙) and ultra-faint galaxies (M_(vir) ≃ 10^9  M_⊙), and with two feedback implementations. The resulting central galaxies lie on an extrapolated abundance matching relation from M_★ ≃ 10^6 to 10^4  M_⊙ without a break. Every host is filled with subhaloes, many of which form stars. Each of our dwarfs with M_★ ≃ 10^6  M_⊙ has 1–2 well-resolved satellites with M_★ = 3-200 × 10^3  M_⊙. Even our isolated ultra-faint galaxies have star-forming subhaloes. If this is representative, dwarf galaxies throughout the Universe should commonly host tiny satellite galaxies of their own. We combine our results with the Exploring the Local Volume in Simulations (ELVIS) simulations to show that targeting ∼ 50 kpc regions around nearby isolated dwarfs could increase the chances of discovering ultra-faint galaxies by ∼35 per cent compared to random pointings, and specifically identify the region around the Phoenix dwarf galaxy as a good potential target. The well-resolved ultra-faint galaxies in our simulations (M_★ ≃ 3-30 × 10^3  M_⊙) form within M_(peak) ≃ 0.5-3 × 10^9  M_⊙ haloes. Each has a uniformly ancient stellar population ( > 10 Gyr) owing to reionization-related quenching. More massive systems, in contrast, all have late-time star formation. Our results suggest that M_(halo) ≃ 5 × 10^9  M_⊙ is a probable dividing line between haloes hosting reionization ‘fossils’ and those hosting dwarfs that can continue to form stars in isolation after reionization.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Boylan-Kolchin, Michael0000-0002-9604-343X
Hopkins, Philip F.0000-0003-3729-1684
Kereš, Dušan0000-0002-1666-7067
Additional Information:© 2015. The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2015 July 23. Received 2015 July 22; in original form 2015 May 6. First published online August 24, 2015. We thank M. C. Cooper for helpful discussions. This work used computational resources granted by NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) Division, NASA Center for Climate Simulation, Teragrid and by the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), which is supported by National Science Foundation grant number OCI-1053575 and ACI-1053575, the latter through allocation AST140080 (PI: Boylan-Kolchin). Support for this work was also provided by NASA through Hubble Space Telescope theory grants (programs AR-12836 and AR-13888) from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. CW and OE were supported by Hubble Space Telescope grants HST-AR-13921.002-A and HST-AR-13888.003-A, and SGK by the National Science Foundation Grant AST-1009999. Support for PFH was provided by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through Grant 776 to the Caltech Moore Center for Theoretical Cosmology and Physics, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, NASA ATP Grant NNX14AH35G, and NSF Collaborative Research Grant 1411920. DK received support from National Science Foundation grant number AST-1412153, funds from the University of California, San Diego and XSEDE allocation TG-AST-120025.
Group:Moore Center for Theoretical Cosmology and Physics, TAPIR
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Hubble FellowshipAR-12836
NASA Hubble FellowshipAR-13888
Space Telescope Science InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Hubble Space TelescopeHST-AR-13921.002-A
Hubble Space TelescopeHST-AR-13888.003-A
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation776
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
University of California San DiegoUNSPECIFIED
Caltech Moore Center for Theoretical Cosmology and PhysicsUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: dwarf – galaxies: groups: general – Local Group – galaxies: star formation
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150423-090135687
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Coral Wheeler, Jose Oñorbe, James S. Bullock, Michael Boylan-Kolchin, Oliver D. Elbert, Shea Garrison-Kimmel, Philip F. Hopkins, and Dušan Kereš Sweating the small stuff: simulating dwarf galaxies, ultra-faint dwarf galaxies, and their own tiny satellites MNRAS (October 21, 2015) Vol. 453 1305-1316 doi:10.1093/mnras/stv1691 First published online August 24, 2015
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:56900
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:23 Apr 2015 20:04
Last Modified:26 Oct 2018 18:25

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