Journal Article

The grouping, merging and survival of subhaloes in the simulated Local Group

Jarosław Klimentowski, Ewa L. Łokas, Alexander Knebe, Stefan Gottlöber, Luis A. Martinez-Vaquero, Gustavo Yepes and Yehuda Hoffman

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 402, issue 3, pages 1899-1910
Published in print March 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online February 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.16024.x
The grouping, merging and survival of subhaloes in the simulated Local Group

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We use a simulation performed within the Constrained Local Universe Simulation (CLUES) project to study a realistic Local Group (LG)-like object. We employ this group as a numerical laboratory for studying the evolution of the population of its subhaloes from the point of view of the effects it may have on the origin of different types of dwarf galaxies. We focus on the processes of tidal stripping of the satellites, their interaction, merging and grouping before infall. The tidal stripping manifests itself in the transition between the phase of mass accretion and mass loss seen in most subhaloes, which occurs at the moment of infall on to the host halo, and the change of the shape of their mass function with redshift. Although the satellites often form groups, they are loosely bound within them and do not interact with each other. The infall of a large group could however explain the observed peculiar distribution of the LG satellites, but only if it occurred recently. Mergers between prospective subhaloes are significant only during an early stage of evolution, i.e. more than 7 Gyr ago, when they are still outside the host haloes. Such events could thus contribute to the formation of more distant early-type Milky Way companions. Once the subhaloes enter the host halo the mergers become very rare.

Keywords: methods: N-body simulations; galaxies: dwarf; galaxies: fundamental parameters; galaxies: kinematics and dynamics; Local Group; dark matter

Journal Article.  9014 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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