Volume 575, March 2015
|Number of page(s)
|19 February 2015
Galaxy stellar mass assembly: the difficulty matching observations and semi-analytical predictions ⋆
Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale (IAS), Bâtiment 121, Université Paris-Sud
11 and CNRS (UMR 8617),
2 Université Lyon 1, Observatoire de Lyon, 9 avenue Charles André, 69230 Saint-Genis-Laval, France
3 CNRS (UMR 5574), Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, 69007 Lyon, France
4 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
5 Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, LAM (Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille) UMR 7326, 13388 Marseille, France
Received: 15 November 2013
Accepted: 6 October 2014
Semi-analytical models (SAMs) are currently the best way to understand the formation of galaxies within the cosmic dark-matter structures. They are able to give a statistical view of the variety of the evolutionary histories of galaxies in terms of star formation and stellar mass assembly. While they reproduce the local stellar mass functions, correlation functions, and luminosity functions fairly well, they fail to match observations at high redshift (z ≥ 3) in most cases, particularly in the low-mass range. The inconsistency between models and CDM observations indicates that the history of gas accretion in galaxies, within their host dark-matter halo, and the transformation of gas into stars, are not followed well. We briefly present a new version of the GalICS semi-analytical model. With this new model, we explore the impact of classical mechanisms, such as supernova feedback or photoionization, on the evolution of the stellar mass assembly and the star formation rate. Even with strong efficiency, these two processes cannot explain the observed stellar mass function and star formation rate distribution or the stellar mass versus dark matter halo mass relation. We thus introduce an ad hoc modification of the standard paradigm, based on the presence of a no-star-forming gas component, and a concentration of the star-forming gas in galaxy discs. The main idea behind the existence of the no-star-forming gas reservoir is that only a fraction of the total gas mass in a galaxy is available to form stars. The reservoir generates a delay between the accretion of the gas and the star formation process. This new model is in much better agreement with the observations of the stellar mass function in the low-mass range than the previous models and agrees quite well with a large set of observations, including the redshift evolution of the specific star formation rate. However, it predicts a large amount of no-star-forming baryonic gas, potentially larger than observed, even if its nature has still to be examined in the context of the missing baryon problem. Outputs from all models are available at the CDS.
Key words: galaxies: formation / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: star formation / galaxies: halos
Outputs from all models are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (184.108.40.206) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/575/A32
© ESO, 2015
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