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Galaxies 2016, 4(4), 74;

Tidal Disruption of Milky Way Satellites with Shallow Dark Matter Density Profiles

Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bartycka 18, 00-716 Warsaw, Poland
Academic Editors: Jose Gaite and Antonaldo Diaferio
Received: 28 September 2016 / Revised: 17 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dark Matter: Large versus Small Scale Structures)
PDF [2776 KB, uploaded 30 November 2016]


Dwarf galaxies of the Local Group provide unique possibilities to test current theories of structure formation. Their number and properties have put the broadly accepted cold dark matter model into question, posing a few problems. These problems now seem close to resolution due to the improved treatment of baryonic processes in dwarf galaxy simulations which now predict cored rather than cuspy dark matter profiles in isolated dwarfs with important consequences for their subsequent environmental evolution. Using N-body simulations, we study the evolution of a disky dwarf galaxy with such a shallow dark matter profile on a typical orbit around the Milky Way. The dwarf survives the first pericenter passage but is disrupted after the second due to tidal forces from the host. We discuss the evolution of the dwarf’s properties in time prior to and at the time of disruption. We demonstrate that the dissolution occurs on a rather short timescale as the dwarf expands from a spheroid into a stream with non-zero mean radial velocity. We point out that the properties of the dwarf at the time of disruption may be difficult to distinguish from bound configurations, such as tidally induced bars, both in terms of surface density and line-of-sight kinematics. View Full-Text
Keywords: interacting galaxies; dwarf galaxies; tidal disruption; dark matter interacting galaxies; dwarf galaxies; tidal disruption; dark matter

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Łokas, E.L. Tidal Disruption of Milky Way Satellites with Shallow Dark Matter Density Profiles. Galaxies 2016, 4, 74.

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