Volume 540, April 2012
|Number of page(s)||13|
|Section||Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)|
|Published online||04 April 2012|
The implications of dust for high-redshift protogalaxies and the formation of binary disks
1 Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
2 Institut für Astrophysik, Georg-August-Universität, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
Received: 18 October 2011
Accepted: 21 February 2012
Numerical simulations suggest that the first galaxies are formed in protogalactic halos with virial temperatures ≥104 K. It is likely that such halos are polluted with trace amounts of metals produced by the first generation of stars. The presence of dust can significantly change the chemistry and dynamics of early galaxies. In this article, we aim to assess the role of dust on the thermal and dynamical evolution of the first galaxies in the presence of a background UV flux, and its implications for the observability of Lyman-α emitters and sub-mm sources. We have performed high resolution cosmological simulations using the adaptive mesh refinement code FLASH to accomplish this goal. We have developed a chemical network appropriate for these conditions and coupled it with the FLASH code. The main ingredients of our chemical model include the formation of molecules (both in the gas phase and on dust grains), a multi-level treatment of atomic hydrogen, line trapping of Ly-α photons and, photoionization and photodissociation processes in a UV background. We found that the formation of molecules (H2 and HD) is significantly enhanced in the presence of dust grains as compared to only gas phase reactions by up to two orders of magnitude. The presence of dust may thus establish a molecular ISM in high-redshift galaxies. The presence of a background UV flux strongly influences the formation of molecules by photodissociating them. We explore the evolution after a major merger, leading to the formation of a binary disk. These disks have gas masses of ~107 M⊙ at a redshift of 5.4. Each disk lies in a separate subhalo as a result of the merger event. The disks are supported by turbulent pressure due to the highly supersonic turbulence present in the halo. For values of J21 = 1000 (internal flux), we find that fragmentation may be enhanced due to thermal instabilities in the hot gas. The presence of dust does not significantly reduce the Ly-α emission. The emission of Ly-α is extended and originates from the envelope of the halo due to line trapping effects. We also find that dust masses of a few × 108 M⊙ are required to observe the dust continuum emission from z ~ 5 galaxies with ALMA.
Key words: methods: numerical / dust, extinction / cosmology: theory / galaxies: formation / atomic processes / molecular processes
© ESO, 2012
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