We use the APOSTLE cosmological simulations to examine the role of the cosmic UV background in regulating star formation (SF) in low-mass Lambda cold dark matter (ΛCDM) haloes. In agreement with earlier work, we find that after reionization SF proceeds mainly in haloes whose mass exceeds a redshift-dependent 'critical' mass, M, set by the structure of the haloes and by the thermal pressure of UV-heated gas. M increases from ∼ 108 M⊙ at z ∼10 to M ∼ 109.7 M⊙ at z = 0, roughly following the average mass growth of haloes in that mass range. This implies that haloes well above or below critical at present have remained so since early times. Haloes of luminous dwarfs today were already above-critical and star forming at high redshift, explaining naturally the ubiquitous presence of ancient stellar populations in dwarfs, regardless of luminosity. The SF history of systems close to the critical boundary is more complex. SF may cease or reignite in dwarfs whose host halo falls below or climbs above the critical boundary, suggesting an attractive explanation for the episodic nature of SF in some dwarfs. Also, some subcritical haloes today may have been above critical in the past; these systems should at present make up a sizable population of faint field dwarfs lacking ongoing star formation. Although few such galaxies are currently known, the discovery of this population would provide strong support for our results. Our work indicates that, rather than stellar feedback, it is the ionizing UV background and mass accretion history what regulates SF in the faintest dwarfs.

Pereira-Wilson, M., Navarro, J., Benitez-Llambay, A., Santos-Santos, I. (2023). The cosmic UV background and the beginning and end of star formation in simulated field dwarf galaxies. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 519(1 (February 2023)), 1425-1436 [10.1093/mnras/stac3633].

The cosmic UV background and the beginning and end of star formation in simulated field dwarf galaxies

Benitez-Llambay, Alejandro;
2023

Abstract

We use the APOSTLE cosmological simulations to examine the role of the cosmic UV background in regulating star formation (SF) in low-mass Lambda cold dark matter (ΛCDM) haloes. In agreement with earlier work, we find that after reionization SF proceeds mainly in haloes whose mass exceeds a redshift-dependent 'critical' mass, M, set by the structure of the haloes and by the thermal pressure of UV-heated gas. M increases from ∼ 108 M⊙ at z ∼10 to M ∼ 109.7 M⊙ at z = 0, roughly following the average mass growth of haloes in that mass range. This implies that haloes well above or below critical at present have remained so since early times. Haloes of luminous dwarfs today were already above-critical and star forming at high redshift, explaining naturally the ubiquitous presence of ancient stellar populations in dwarfs, regardless of luminosity. The SF history of systems close to the critical boundary is more complex. SF may cease or reignite in dwarfs whose host halo falls below or climbs above the critical boundary, suggesting an attractive explanation for the episodic nature of SF in some dwarfs. Also, some subcritical haloes today may have been above critical in the past; these systems should at present make up a sizable population of faint field dwarfs lacking ongoing star formation. Although few such galaxies are currently known, the discovery of this population would provide strong support for our results. Our work indicates that, rather than stellar feedback, it is the ionizing UV background and mass accretion history what regulates SF in the faintest dwarfs.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
cosmology: reionization; dark matter; galaxies: dwarf; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: formation;
English
13-dic-2022
2023
519
1 (February 2023)
1425
1436
open
Pereira-Wilson, M., Navarro, J., Benitez-Llambay, A., Santos-Santos, I. (2023). The cosmic UV background and the beginning and end of star formation in simulated field dwarf galaxies. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 519(1 (February 2023)), 1425-1436 [10.1093/mnras/stac3633].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/400452
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