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Testing Homogeneity with Galaxy Star Formation Histories  [PDF]
Ben Hoyle,Rita Tojeiro,Raul Jimenez,Alan Heavens,Chris Clarkson,Roy Maartens
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/762/1/L9
Abstract: Observationally confirming spatial homogeneity on sufficiently large cosmological scales is of importance to test one of the underpinning assumptions of cosmology, and is also imperative for correctly interpreting dark energy. A challenging aspect of this is that homogeneity must be probed inside our past lightcone, while observations take place on the lightcone. The star formation history (SFH) in the galaxy fossil record provides a novel way to do this. We calculate the SFH of stacked Luminous Red Galaxy (LRG) spectra obtained from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We divide the LRG sample into 12 equal area contiguous sky patches and 10 redshift slices (0.2 < z < 0.5), which correspond to 120 blocks of volume 0.04Gpc3. Using the SFH in a time period which samples the history of the Universe between look-back times 11.5 to 13.4 Gyrs as a proxy for homogeneity, we calculate the posterior distribution for the excess large-scale variance due to inhomogeneity, and find that the most likely solution is no extra variance at all. At 95% credibility, there is no evidence of deviations larger than 5.8%.
Testing linear-theory predictions of galaxy formation  [PDF]
Ben Sugerman,F. J. Summers,Marc Kamionkowski
Physics , 1999, DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-8711.2000.03107.x
Abstract: The angular momentum of galaxies is routinely ascribed to a process of tidal torques acting during the early stages of gravitational collapse, and is predicted from the initial mass distribution using second-order perturbation theory and the Zel'dovich approximation. We have tested this theory for a flat hierarchical cosmogony using a large N-body simulation with sufficient dynamic range to include tidal fields, allow resolution of individual galaxies, and thereby expand on previous studies. We find relatively good correlation between the predictions of linear theory and actual galaxy evolution. While structure formation from early times is a complex history of hierarchical merging, salient features are well described by the simple spherical-collapse model. Most notably, we test several methods for determining the turnaround epoch, and find that turnaround is succesfully described by the spherical collapse model. The angular momentum of collapsing structures grows linearly until turnaround, as predicted, and continues quasi-linearly until shell crossing. The predicted angular momentum for well-resolved galaxies at turnaround overestimates the true turnaround and final values by a factor of ~3 with a scatter of ~70 percent, and only marginally yields the correct direction of the angular momentum vector. We recover the prediction that final angular momentum scales as mass to the 5/3 power. We find that mass and angular momentum also vary proportionally with peak height.
Chemical Evolution of Elliptical Galaxies as a Constraint to Galaxy Formation Scenarios  [PDF]
Donatella Romano,Francesca Matteucci,Luigi Danese
Physics , 2001,
Abstract: Elliptical galaxies are the main contributors to the chemical enrichment of the intracluster and intergalactic medium; understanding how they form and evolve enables us to get important hints on the amounts of energy and processed matter that they eject into the ICM/IGM. Recent pieces of observational evidence point to a strong connection between high redshift quasars and their host galaxies. The aim of this paper is to prove that the main aspects of the chemical evolution of the spheroids can be reproduced in the framework of a model where the shining of the quasar is intimately related to the formation of the galactic nucleus. A key assumption is that the quasars shone in an inverted order with respect to the hierarchical one (i.e., stars and black holes in bigger dark halos formed before those in smaller ones) during an early episode of vigorous star formation. This scenario closely resembles the so-called `inverse wind' model invoked to explain the observed increase of the [Mg/Fe] ratio in the nuclei of ellipticals with increasing the galactic mass, the only difference being that now the time for the occurrence of a galactic wind is not determined by the energy input from supernovae, but is indeed the energy injected by the quasar which regulates the onset of the wind phase.
Formation of Galaxy Clusters  [PDF]
Andrey Kravtsov,Stefano Borgani
Physics , 2012, DOI: 10.1146/annurev-astro-081811-125502
Abstract: In this review, we describe our current understanding of cluster formation: from the general picture of collapse from initial density fluctuations in an expanding Universe to detailed simulations of cluster formation including the effects of galaxy formation. We outline both the areas in which highly accurate predictions of theoretical models can be obtained and areas where predictions are uncertain due to uncertain physics of galaxy formation and feedback. The former includes the description of the structural properties of the dark matter halos hosting cluster, their mass function and clustering properties. Their study provides a foundation for cosmological applications of clusters and for testing the fundamental assumptions of the standard model of structure formation. The latter includes the description of the total gas and stellar fractions, the thermodynamical and non-thermal processes in the intracluster plasma. Their study serves as a testing ground for galaxy formation models and plasma physics. In this context, we identify a suitable radial range where the observed thermal properties of the intra-cluster plasma exhibit the most regular behavior and thus can be used to define robust observational proxies for the total cluster mass. We put particular emphasis on examining assumptions and limitations of the widely used self-similar model of clusters. Finally, we discuss the formation of clusters in non-standard cosmological models, such as non-Gaussian models for the initial density field and models with modified gravity, along with prospects for testing these alternative scenarios with large cluster surveys in the near future.
Formation Scenarios  [PDF]
Rosemary F. G. Wyse
Physics , 1999,
Abstract: I discuss various proposed formation scenarios for the metal-poor components of the Milky Way Galaxy, emphasising the stellar halo and the thick disk. Interactions and accretion played a significant role in Galactic evolution, in particular at earlier epochs. The present observations favour a scenario by which the thick disk formed through the heating of a pre-existing thin stellar disk, with the heating mechanism being the merging of a satellite galaxy. A remnant `moving group' of the satellite would provide strong support for this scenario, and may have been detected. The field stars in the stellar halo probably formed in early small-scale star-forming regions, which subsequently disrupted. Late accretion is not important for the bulk of the stellar halo. The stellar initial mass function shows no evidence of variations, and indeed shows evidence of being invariant, even in companion satellite galaxies.
The response of dark matter haloes to elliptical galaxy formation: a new test for quenching scenarios  [PDF]
Aaron A. Dutton,Andrea V. Macciò,Gregory S. Stinson,Thales A. Gutcke,Camilla Penzo,Tobias Buck
Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stv1755
Abstract: We use cosmological hydrodynamical zoom-in simulations with the SPH code gasoline of four haloes of mass M_{200} \sim 10^{13}\Msun to study the response of the dark matter to elliptical galaxy formation. Our simulations include metallicity dependent gas cooling, star formation, and feedback from massive stars and supernovae, but not active galactic nuclei (AGN). At z=2 the progenitor galaxies have stellar to halo mass ratios consistent with halo abundance matching, assuming a Salpeter initial mass function. However by z=0 the standard runs suffer from the well known overcooling problem, overpredicting the stellar masses by a factor of > 4. To mimic a suppressive halo quenching scenario, in our forced quenching (FQ) simulations, cooling and star formation are switched off at z=2. The resulting z=0 galaxies have stellar masses, sizes and circular velocities close to what is observed. Relative to the control simulations, the dark matter haloes in the FQ simulations have contracted, with central dark matter density slopes d\log\rho/d\log r \sim -1.5, showing that dry merging alone is unable to fully reverse the contraction that occurs at z>2. Simulations in the literature with AGN feedback however, have found expansion or no net change in the dark matter halo. Thus the response of the dark matter halo to galaxy formation may provide a new test to distinguish between ejective and suppressive quenching mechanisms.
A dynamical and kinematical model of the Galactic stellar halo and possible implications for galaxy formation scenarios  [PDF]
J. Sommer-Larsen,T. C. Beers,C. Flynn,R. Wilhelm,P. R. Christensen
Physics , 1996, DOI: 10.1086/304081
Abstract: We re-analyse the kinematics of the system of blue horizontal branch field (BHBF) stars in the Galactic halo (in particular the outer halo), fitting the kinematics with the model of radial and tangential velocity dispersions in the halo as a function of galactocentric distance r proposed by Sommer-Larsen, Flynn & Christensen (1994), using a much larger sample (almost 700) of BHBF stars. The basic result is that the character of the stellar halo velocity ellipsoid changes markedly from radial anisotropy at the sun to tangential anisotropy in the outer parts of the Galactic halo (r greater than approx 20 kpc). Specifically, the radial component of the stellar halo's velocity ellipsoid decreases fairly rapidly beyond the solar circle, from approx 140 +/- 10 km/s at the sun, to an asymptotic value of 89 +/- 19 km/s at large r. The rapid decrease in the radial velocity dispersion is matched by an increase in the tangential velocity dispersion, with increasing r. Our results may indicate that the Galaxy formed hierarchically (partly or fully) through merging of smaller subsystems - the 'bottom-up' galaxy formation scenario, which for quite a while has been favoured by most theorists and recently also has been given some observational credibility by HST observations of a potential group of small galaxies, at high redshift, possibly in the process of merging to a larger galaxy (Pascarelle et al 1996).
Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA): Testing galaxy formation models through the most massive galaxies in the Universe  [PDF]
P. Oliva-Altamirano,S. Brough,C. Lidman,W. J. Couch,A. M. Hopkins,M. Colless,E. Taylor,A. S. G. Robotham,M. L. P. Gunawardhana,T. Ponman,I. Baldry,A. E. Bauer,J. Bland-Hawthorn,M. Cluver,E. Cameron,C. J. Conselice,S. Driver,A. C. Edge,A. W. Graham,E. van Kampen,M. A. Lara-López,J. Liske,A. R. López-Sánchez,J. Loveday,S. Mahajan,J. Peacock,S. Phillipps,K. A. Pimbblet,R. G. Sharp
Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu277
Abstract: We have analysed the growth of Brightest Group Galaxies and Brightest Cluster Galaxies (BGGs/BCGs) over the last 3 billion years using a large sample of 883 galaxies from the Galaxy And Mass Assembly Survey. By comparing the stellar mass of BGGs and BCGs in groups and clusters of similar dynamical masses, we find no significant growth between redshift $z=0.27$ and $z=0.09$. We also examine the number of BGGs/BCGs that have line emission, finding that approximately 65 per cent of BGGs/BCGs show H$\alpha$ in emission. From the galaxies where the necessary spectroscopic lines were accurately recovered (54 per cent of the sample), we find that half of this (i.e. 27 per cent of the sample) harbour on-going star formation with rates up to $10\,$M$_{\odot}$yr$^{-1}$, and the other half (i.e. 27 per cent of the sample) have an active nucleus (AGN) at the centre. BGGs are more likely to have ongoing star formation, while BCGs show a higher fraction of AGN activity. By examining the position of the BGGs/BCGs with respect to their host dark matter halo we find that around 13 per cent of them do not lie at the centre of the dark matter halo. This could be an indicator of recent cluster-cluster mergers. We conclude that BGGs and BCGs acquired their stellar mass rapidly at higher redshifts as predicted by semi-analytic models, mildly slowing down at low redshifts.
Quasars and Galaxy Formation  [PDF]
Joseph Silk,Martin J. Rees
Physics , 1998,
Abstract: The formation of massive black holes may precede the epoch that characterises the peak of galaxy formation, as characterized by the star formation history in luminous galaxies. Hence protogalactic star formation may be profoundly affected by quasar-like nuclei and their associated extensive energetic outflows. We derive a relation between the mass of the central supermassive black hole and that of the galaxy spheroidal component, and comment on other implications for galaxy formation scenarios.
Dwarf Galaxies in 2010: Revealing Galaxy Formation's Threshold and Testing the Nature of Dark Matter  [PDF]
James S. Bullock,Manoj Kaplinghat,Andrew Fruchter,Marla Geha,Joshua D. Simon,Louis E. Strigari,Beth Willman
Physics , 2009,
Abstract: Over the past five years, searches in Sloan Digital Sky Survey data have more than doubled the number of known dwarf satellite galaxies of the Milky Way, and have revealed a population of ultra-faint galaxies with luminosities smaller than typical globular clusters, L ~ 1000 Lsun. These systems are the faintest, most dark matter dominated, and most metal poor galaxies in the universe. Completeness corrections suggest that we are poised on the edge of a vast discovery space in galaxy phenomenology, with hundreds more of these extreme galaxies to be discovered as future instruments hunt for the low-luminosity threshold of galaxy formation. Dark matter dominated dwarfs of this kind probe the small-scale power-spectrum, provide the most stringent limits on the phase-space packing of dark matter, and offer a particularly useful target for dark matter indirect detection experiments. Full use of dwarfs as dark matter laboratories will require synergy between deep, large-area photometric searches; spectroscopic and astrometric follow-up with next-generation optical telescopes; and subsequent observations with gamma-ray telescopes for dark matter indirect detection.
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