Journal Article

Simulating subhaloes at high redshift: merger rates, counts and types

Andrew R. Wetzel, J. D. Cohn and Martin White

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 395, issue 3, pages 1376-1390
Published in print May 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online May 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Simulating subhaloes at high redshift: merger rates, counts and types

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Galaxies are believed to be in one-to-one correspondence with simulated dark matter subhaloes. We use high-resolution N-body simulations of cosmological volumes to calculate the statistical properties of subhalo (galaxy) major mergers at high redshift (z= 0.6–5). We measure the evolution of the galaxy merger rate, finding that it is much shallower than the merger rate of dark matter host haloes at z > 2.5, but roughly parallels that of haloes at z < 1.6. We also track the detailed merger histories of individual galaxies and measure the likelihood of multiple mergers per halo or subhalo. We examine satellite merger statistics in detail: 15–35 per cent of all recently merged galaxies are satellites, and satellites are twice as likely as centrals to have had a recent major merger. Finally, we show how the differing evolution of the merger rates of haloes and galaxies leads to the evolution of the average satellite occupation per halo, noting that for a fixed halo mass, the satellite halo occupation peaks at z∼ 2.5.

Keywords: methods: N-body simulations; galaxies: haloes; galaxies: interactions; cosmology: theory

Journal Article.  12918 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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