Satellite dwarf galaxies: stripped but not quenched
Laboratoire d’Astrophysique, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), 1290 Sauvergny, Switzerland
2 CNRS UMR 8111, GEPI, Observatoire de Paris, Université PSL, 92125 Meudon Cedex, France
Accepted: 31 January 2019
In the Local Group, quenched gas-poor dwarfs galaxies are most often found close to the Milky Way and Andromeda, while star forming gas-rich ones are located at greater distances. This so-called morphology-density relation is often interpreted as the consequence of the ram pressure stripping of the satellites during their interaction with the Milky Way hot halo gas. While this process has been often investigated, self-consistent high resolution simulations were still missing. In this study, we have analysed the impact of both the ram pressure and tidal forces induced by a host galaxy on dwarf models as realistic as possible emerging from cosmological simulations. These models were re-simulated using both a wind tunnel and a moving box technique. The secular mass growth of the central host galaxy, as well as the gas density and temperature profiles of its hot halo have been taken into account. We show that while ram pressure is very efficient at stripping the hot and diffuse gas of the dwarf galaxies, it can remove their cold gas (T < 103 K) only in very specific conditions. Depending on the infall time of the satellites relatively to the build-up stage of the massive host, star formation can thus be prolonged instead of being quenched. This is the direct consequence of the clumpy nature of the cold gas and the thermal pressure the hot gas exerts onto it. We discuss the possibility that the variety in satellite populations among Milky Way-like galaxies reflects their accretion histories.
Key words: methods: numerical / Galaxy: evolution / galaxies: dwarf / galaxies: interactions / Local Group / Galaxy: abundances
© ESO 2019