How cold is dark matter? Constraints from Milky Way satellites

Andrea Maccio, Fabio Fontanot

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

    Abstract

    We test the luminosity function of Milky Way satellites as a constraint for the nature of dark matter particles. We perform dissipationless high-resolution N-body simulations of the evolution of Galaxy-sized halo in the standard cold dark matter model and in four warm dark matter (WDM) scenarios, with a different choice for the WDM particle mass mw. We then combine the results of the numerical simulations with semi-analytic models for galaxy formation, to infer the properties of the satellite population. Quite surprisingly, we find that even WDM models with relatively low mw values (2-5 keV) are able to reproduce the observed abundance of ultra faint (Mv < - 9) dwarf galaxies, as well as the observed relation between luminosity and mass within 300 pc. Our results suggest a lower limit of 1keV for thermal WDM, in broad agreement with previous results from other astrophysical observations such as Lyman α forest and gravitational lensing.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
    Volume404
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - May 1 2010

    Fingerprint

    dark matter
    luminosity
    particle mass
    galactic evolution
    dwarf galaxies
    simulation
    cold
    halos
    astrophysics
    galaxies
    high resolution
    particle

    Keywords

    • Cosmology: dark matter
    • Cosmology: theory
    • Galaxies: haloes
    • Gravitation
    • Methods: N-body simulations
    • Methods: numerical

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science

    Cite this

    How cold is dark matter? Constraints from Milky Way satellites. / Maccio, Andrea; Fontanot, Fabio.

    In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, Vol. 404, No. 1, 01.05.2010.

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

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    abstract = "We test the luminosity function of Milky Way satellites as a constraint for the nature of dark matter particles. We perform dissipationless high-resolution N-body simulations of the evolution of Galaxy-sized halo in the standard cold dark matter model and in four warm dark matter (WDM) scenarios, with a different choice for the WDM particle mass mw. We then combine the results of the numerical simulations with semi-analytic models for galaxy formation, to infer the properties of the satellite population. Quite surprisingly, we find that even WDM models with relatively low mw values (2-5 keV) are able to reproduce the observed abundance of ultra faint (Mv < - 9) dwarf galaxies, as well as the observed relation between luminosity and mass within 300 pc. Our results suggest a lower limit of 1keV for thermal WDM, in broad agreement with previous results from other astrophysical observations such as Lyman α forest and gravitational lensing.",
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    AU - Fontanot, Fabio

    PY - 2010/5/1

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    N2 - We test the luminosity function of Milky Way satellites as a constraint for the nature of dark matter particles. We perform dissipationless high-resolution N-body simulations of the evolution of Galaxy-sized halo in the standard cold dark matter model and in four warm dark matter (WDM) scenarios, with a different choice for the WDM particle mass mw. We then combine the results of the numerical simulations with semi-analytic models for galaxy formation, to infer the properties of the satellite population. Quite surprisingly, we find that even WDM models with relatively low mw values (2-5 keV) are able to reproduce the observed abundance of ultra faint (Mv < - 9) dwarf galaxies, as well as the observed relation between luminosity and mass within 300 pc. Our results suggest a lower limit of 1keV for thermal WDM, in broad agreement with previous results from other astrophysical observations such as Lyman α forest and gravitational lensing.

    AB - We test the luminosity function of Milky Way satellites as a constraint for the nature of dark matter particles. We perform dissipationless high-resolution N-body simulations of the evolution of Galaxy-sized halo in the standard cold dark matter model and in four warm dark matter (WDM) scenarios, with a different choice for the WDM particle mass mw. We then combine the results of the numerical simulations with semi-analytic models for galaxy formation, to infer the properties of the satellite population. Quite surprisingly, we find that even WDM models with relatively low mw values (2-5 keV) are able to reproduce the observed abundance of ultra faint (Mv < - 9) dwarf galaxies, as well as the observed relation between luminosity and mass within 300 pc. Our results suggest a lower limit of 1keV for thermal WDM, in broad agreement with previous results from other astrophysical observations such as Lyman α forest and gravitational lensing.

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