How to bend galaxy disc profiles: The role of halo spin

J. Herpich, G. S. Stinson, A. A. Dutton, H. W. Rix, M. Martig, R. Roskar, Andrea Maccio, T. R. Quinn, J. Wadsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The radial density profiles of stellar galaxy discs can be well approximated as an exponential. Compared to this canonical form, however, the profiles in the majority of disc galaxies show downward or upward breaks at large radii. Currently, there is no coherent explanation in a galaxy formation context of the radial profile per se, along with the two types of profile breaks. Using a set of controlled hydrodynamic simulations of disc galaxy formation, we find a correlation between the host halo's initial angular momentum and the resulting radial profile of the stellar disc: galaxies that live in haloes with a low spin parameter λ≲0.03 show an up-bending break in their disc density profiles, while galaxies in haloes of higher angular momentum show a down-bending break. We find that the case of pure exponential profiles (λ≈0.035) coincides with the peak of the spin parameter distribution from cosmological simulations. Our simulations not only imply an explanation of the observed behaviours, but also suggest that the physical origin of this effect is related to the amount of radial redistribution of stellar mass, which is anticorrelated with λ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L99-L103
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Volume448
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Fingerprint

disk galaxies
halos
angular momentum
profiles
simulation
galactic evolution
hydrodynamics
canonical forms
stellar mass
galaxies
parameter
radii

Keywords

  • Galaxies: spiral
  • Galaxies: structure
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Methods: numerical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Herpich, J., Stinson, G. S., Dutton, A. A., Rix, H. W., Martig, M., Roskar, R., ... Wadsley, J. (2015). How to bend galaxy disc profiles: The role of halo spin. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, 448(1), L99-L103. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnrasl/slv006

How to bend galaxy disc profiles : The role of halo spin. / Herpich, J.; Stinson, G. S.; Dutton, A. A.; Rix, H. W.; Martig, M.; Roskar, R.; Maccio, Andrea; Quinn, T. R.; Wadsley, J.

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, Vol. 448, No. 1, 01.01.2015, p. L99-L103.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Herpich, J, Stinson, GS, Dutton, AA, Rix, HW, Martig, M, Roskar, R, Maccio, A, Quinn, TR & Wadsley, J 2015, 'How to bend galaxy disc profiles: The role of halo spin', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, vol. 448, no. 1, pp. L99-L103. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnrasl/slv006
Herpich J, Stinson GS, Dutton AA, Rix HW, Martig M, Roskar R et al. How to bend galaxy disc profiles: The role of halo spin. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters. 2015 Jan 1;448(1):L99-L103. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnrasl/slv006
Herpich, J. ; Stinson, G. S. ; Dutton, A. A. ; Rix, H. W. ; Martig, M. ; Roskar, R. ; Maccio, Andrea ; Quinn, T. R. ; Wadsley, J. / How to bend galaxy disc profiles : The role of halo spin. In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters. 2015 ; Vol. 448, No. 1. pp. L99-L103.
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