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Creating mock catalogues of stellar haloes from cosmological simulations.

Lowing, B. and Wang, W. and Cooper, A and Kennedy, R. and Helly, J. and Cole, S. and Frenk, C. (2015) 'Creating mock catalogues of stellar haloes from cosmological simulations.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 446 (3). pp. 2274-2290.


We present a new technique for creating mock catalogues of the individual stars that make up the accreted component of stellar haloes in cosmological simulations and show how the catalogues can be used to test and interpret observational data. The catalogues are constructed from a combination of methods. A semi-analytic galaxy formation model is used to calculate the star formation history in haloes in an N-body simulation and dark matter particles are tagged with this stellar mass. The tags are converted into individual stars using a stellar population synthesis model to obtain the number density and evolutionary stage of the stars, together with a phase-space sampling method that distributes the stars while ensuring that the phase-space structure of the original N-body simulation is maintained. A set of catalogues based on the Λ cold dark matter Aquarius simulations of Milky Way mass haloes have been created and made publicly available on a website. Two example applications are discussed that demonstrate the power and flexibility of the mock catalogues. We show how the rich stellar substructure that survives in the stellar halo precludes a simple measurement of its density profile and demonstrate explicitly how pencil-beam surveys can return almost any value for the slope of the profile. We also show that localized variations in the abundance of particular types of stars, a signature of differences in the composition of stellar populations, allow streams to be easily identified.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Methods: numerical, Galaxies: haloes.
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Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. © 2014 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:27 October 2014
Date deposited:15 April 2015
Date of first online publication:January 2015
Date first made open access:No date available

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