Volume 588, April 2016
|Number of page(s)||23|
|Section||Numerical methods and codes|
|Published online||11 March 2016|
Computational issues in chemo-dynamical modelling of the formation and evolution of galaxies
Laboratoire d’Astrophysique, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
2 Department of Mathematics, Imperial College, London SW7 2AZ, UK
3 GEPI, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS UMR 8111, Université Paris Diderot, 92125 Meudon Cedex, France
Received: 29 April 2015
Accepted: 18 December 2015
Chemo-dynamical N-body simulations are an essential tool for understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies. As the number of observationally determined stellar abundances continues to climb, these simulations are able to provide new constraints on the early star formaton history and chemical evolution inside both the Milky Way and Local Group dwarf galaxies. Here, we aim to reproduce the low α-element scatter observed in metal-poor stars. We first demonstrate that as stellar particles inside simulations drop below a mass threshold, increases in the resolution produce an unacceptably large scatter as one particle is no longer a good approximation of an entire stellar population. This threshold occurs at around 103M⊙, a mass limit easily reached in current (and future) simulations. By simulating the Sextans and Fornax dwarf spheroidal galaxies we show that this increase in scatter at high resolutions arises from stochastic supernovae explosions. In order to reduce this scatter down to the observed value, we show the necessity of introducing a metal mixing scheme into particle-based simulations. The impact of the method used to inject the metals into the surrounding gas is also discussed. We finally summarise the best approach for accurately reproducing the scatter in simulations of both Local Group dwarf galaxies and in the Milky Way.
Key words: galaxies: dwarf / methods: numerical / stars: abundances / galaxies: spiral / galaxies: stellar content
© ESO, 2016
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