Volume 629, September 2019
|Number of page(s)||17|
|Published online||02 September 2019|
Assembly of spheroid-dominated galaxies in the EAGLE simulation
Instituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio, CONICET-UBA, Casilla de Correos 67, Suc. 28, 1428 Buenos Aires, Argentina
2 Departamento de Ciencias Físicas, Universidad Andrés Bello, 700 Fernandez Concha, Santiago, Chile
3 Centro de Estudios de Física del Cosmo de Aragón, Plaza San Juan 1, Planta 2, 44001 Teruel, Spain
4 Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), Manuel Lardizabal Pasealekua 4, 20018 Donostia, Basque Country, Spain
Accepted: 15 July 2019
Context. Despite the insights gained in the last few years, our knowledge about the formation and evolution scenario for the spheroid-dominated galaxies is still incomplete. New and more powerful cosmological simulations have been developed that together with more precise observations open the possibility of more detailed study of the formation of early-type galaxies (ETGs).
Aims. The aim of this work is to analyse the assembly histories of ETGs in a Λ cold dark matter cosmology, focussing on the archeological approach given by the mass-growth histories.
Methods. We inspected a sample of dispersion-dominated galaxies selected from the largest volume simulation of the EAGLE project. This simulation includes a variety of physical processes such as radiative cooling, star formation (SF), metal enrichment, and stellar and active galactic nucleus (AGN) feedback. The selected sample comprised 508 spheroid-dominated galaxies classified according to their dynamical properties. Their surface brightness profile, the fundamental relations, kinematic properties, and stellar-mass growth histories are estimated and analysed. The findings are confronted with recent observations.
Results. The simulated ETGs are found to globally reproduce the fundamental relations of ellipticals. All of them have an inner disc component where residual younger stellar populations (SPs) are detected. A correlation between the inner-disc fraction and the bulge-to-total ratio is reported. We find a relation between kinematics and shape that implies that dispersion-dominated galaxies with low V/σL (where V is the average rotational velocity and σL the one dimensional velocity dispersion) tend to have ellipticity smaller than ∼0.5 and are dominated by old stars. On average, less massive galaxies host slightly younger stars. More massive spheroids show coeval SPs while for less massive galaxies (stellar masses lower than ∼1010 M⊙), there is a clear trend to have rejuvenated inner regions, showing an age gap between the inner and the outer regions up to ∼2 Gyr, in apparent contradiction with observational findings. We find evidences suggesting that both the existence of the disc components with SF activity in the inner region and the accretion of satellite galaxies in outer regions could contribute to the outside-in formation history in galaxies with low stellar mass. On the other hand, there are non-negligible uncertainties in the determination of the ages of old stars in observed galaxies. Stronger supernova (SN) feedback and/or the action of AGN feedback for galaxies with stellar masses lower than 1010 M⊙ could contribute to prevent the SF in the inner regions.
Key words: galaxies: formation / galaxies: elliptical and lenticular / cD / galaxies: abundances / galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
© ESO 2019
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