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Galaxies 2017, 5(3), 33; doi:10.3390/galaxies5030033

The “Building Blocks” of Stellar Halos

1
Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada
2
Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
Senior CIfAR fellow.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Duncan A. Forbes and Ericson D. Lopez
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 27 July 2017 / Accepted: 28 July 2017 / Published: 2 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue On the Origin (and Evolution) of Baryonic Galaxy Halos)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [278 KB, uploaded 2 August 2017]   |  

Abstract

The stellar halos of galaxies encode their accretion histories. In particular, the median metallicity of a halo is determined primarily by the mass of the most massive accreted object. We use hydrodynamical cosmological simulations from the apostle project to study the connection between the stellar mass, the metallicity distribution, and the stellar age distribution of a halo and the identity of its most massive progenitor. We find that the stellar populations in an accreted halo typically resemble the old stellar populations in a present-day dwarf galaxy with a stellar mass ∼0.2–0.5 dex greater than that of the stellar halo. This suggests that had they not been accreted, the primary progenitors of stellar halos would have evolved to resemble typical nearby dwarf irregulars. View Full-Text
Keywords: galaxy formation and evolution; stellar halo; numerical simulations galaxy formation and evolution; stellar halo; numerical simulations
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Oman, K.A.; Starkenburg, E.; Navarro, J.F. The “Building Blocks” of Stellar Halos. Galaxies 2017, 5, 33.

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