Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Davis

UC Davis Previously Published Works bannerUC Davis

Be it therefore resolved: Cosmological simulations of dwarf galaxies with 30 solar mass resolution

  • Author(s): Wheeler, C
  • Hopkins, PF
  • Pace, AB
  • Garrison-Kimmel, S
  • Boylan-Kolchin, M
  • Wetzel, A
  • Bullock, JS
  • Kereš, D
  • Faucher-Giguère, CA
  • Quataert, E
  • et al.

We study a suite of extremely high-resolution cosmological Feedback in Realistic Environments simulations of dwarf galaxies (Mhalo ≲ 1010 M☉), run to z = 0 with 30 M☉ resolution, sufficient (for the first time) to resolve the internal structure of individual supernovae remnants within the cooling radius. Every halo with Mhalo ≳ 108.6 M☉ is populated by a resolved stellar galaxy, suggesting very low-mass dwarfs may be ubiquitous in the field. Our ultra-faint dwarfs (UFDs; M∗ < 105 M☉) have their star formation (SF) truncated early (z ≳ 2), likely by reionization, while classical dwarfs (M∗ > 105 M☉) continue forming stars to z < 0.5. The systems have bursty star formation histories, forming most of their stars in periods of elevated SF strongly clustered in both space and time. This allows our dwarf with M∗/Mhalo > 10−4 to form a dark matter core >200 pc, while lower mass UFDs exhibit cusps down to ≲100 pc, as expected from energetic arguments. Our dwarfs with M∗ > 104 M☉ have half-mass radii (R1/2) in agreement with Local Group (LG) dwarfs (dynamical mass versus R1/2 and stellar rotation also resemble observations). The lowest mass UFDs are below surface brightness limits of current surveys but are potentially visible in next-generation surveys (e.g. LSST). The stellar metallicities are lower than in LG dwarfs; this may reflect pre-enrichment of the LG by the massive hosts or Pop-III stars. Consistency with lower resolution studies implies that our simulations are numerically robust (for a given physical model).

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View