Volume 575, March 2015
|Number of page(s)||16|
|Published online||23 February 2015|
Dark influences: imprints of dark satellites on dwarf galaxies
Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands
Received: 30 September 2014
Accepted: 24 November 2014
Context. In the context of the current Λ cold dark matter cosmological model small dark matter halos are abundant and satellites of dwarf galaxies are expected to be predominantly dark. Since low mass galaxies have smaller baryon fractions, interactions with these satellites may leave particularly dramatic imprints.
Aims. We uncover the influence of the most massive of these dark satellites on disky dwarf galaxies and the possible dynamical and morphological transformations that result from these interactions.
Methods. We use a suite of carefully set up, controlled simulations of isolated dwarf galaxies. The primary dwarf galaxies have solely a stellar disk in the dark matter halo and the secondaries are completely devoid of baryons. We vary the disk mass, halo concentration, initial disk thickness, and inclination of the satellite orbit.
Results. The disky dwarf galaxies are heated and disrupted by the minor merger event, more extremely for higher satellite-to-disk-mass ratios, and the morphology and kinematics are significantly altered. Moreover, for less concentrated halos the minor merger can completely destroy the disk leaving a low-luminosity spheroidal-like galaxy instead.
Conclusions. We conclude that dwarf galaxies are very susceptible to being disturbed by dark galaxies and that even a minor merger event can significantly disrupt and alter the structure and kinematics of a dwarf galaxy. This process may be seen as a new channel for the formation of dwarf spheroidal galaxies.
Key words: galaxies: dwarf / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: interactions / galaxies: structure / galaxies: kinematics and dynamics / dark matter
© ESO, 2015
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.