Quenching massive galaxies with on-the-fly feedback in cosmological hydrodynamic simulations

J. M. Gabor, Romeel S Dave, B. D. Oppenheimer, K. Finlator

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Massive galaxies today typically are not forming stars despite being surrounded by hot gaseous haloes with short central cooling times. This likely owes to some form of 'quenching feedback' such as merger-driven quasar activity or radio jets emerging from central black holes. Here we implement heuristic prescriptions for these phenomena on-the-fly within cosmological hydrodynamic simulations. We constrain them by comparing to observed luminosity functions and colour-magnitude diagrams from the SDSS. We find that quenching from mergers alone does not produce a realistic red sequence, because 1-2 Gyr after a merger the remnant accretes new fuel and star formation re-ignites. In contrast, quenching by continuously adding thermal energy to hot gaseous haloes quantitatively matches the red galaxy luminosity function and produces a reasonable red sequence. Small discrepancies remain - a shallow red-sequence slope suggests that our models underestimate metal production or retention in massive red galaxies, while a deficit of massive blue galaxies may reflect the fact that observed heating is intermittent rather than continuous. Overall, injection of energy into hot halo gas appears to be a necessary and sufficient condition to broadly produce red and dead massive galaxies as observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2676-2695
Number of pages20
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume417
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2011

Fingerprint

merger
hydrodynamics
quenching
galaxies
halos
simulation
heuristics
luminosity
energy
diagram
radio
color-magnitude diagram
heating
cooling
thermal energy
metal
quasars
star formation
emerging
gas

Keywords

  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: luminosity function, mass function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Quenching massive galaxies with on-the-fly feedback in cosmological hydrodynamic simulations. / Gabor, J. M.; Dave, Romeel S; Oppenheimer, B. D.; Finlator, K.

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 417, No. 4, 11.2011, p. 2676-2695.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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