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Evolution of galaxy stellar masses and star formation rates in the EAGLE simulations.

Furlong, M. and Bower, R. G. and Theuns, T. and Schaye, J. and Crain, R. A. and Schaller, M. and Dalla Vecchia, C. and Frenk, C. S. and McCarthy, I. G. and Helly, J. and Jenkins, A. and Rosas-Guevara, Y. M. (2015) 'Evolution of galaxy stellar masses and star formation rates in the EAGLE simulations.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 450 (4). pp. 4486-4504.


We investigate the evolution of galaxy masses and star formation rates in the Evolution and Assembly of Galaxies and their Environment (eagle) simulations. These comprise a suite of hydrodynamical simulations in a Λ cold dark matter cosmogony with subgrid models for radiative cooling, star formation, stellar mass-loss and feedback from stars and accreting black holes. The subgrid feedback was calibrated to reproduce the observed present-day galaxy stellar mass function and galaxy sizes. Here, we demonstrate that the simulations reproduce the observed growth of the stellar mass density to within 20 per cent. The simulations also track the observed evolution of the galaxy stellar mass function out to redshift z = 7, with differences comparable to the plausible uncertainties in the interpretation of the data. Just as with observed galaxies, the specific star formation rates of simulated galaxies are bimodal, with distinct star forming and passive sequences. The specific star formation rates of star-forming galaxies are typically 0.2 to 0.5 dex lower than observed, but the evolution of the rates track the observations closely. The unprecedented level of agreement between simulation and data across cosmic time makes eagle a powerful resource to understand the physical processes that govern galaxy formation.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Galaxies: abundances, Galaxies: evolution, Galaxies: formation, Galaxies: high-redshift, Galaxies: star formation.
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Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2015 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:15 April 2015
Date deposited:16 February 2016
Date of first online publication:July 2015
Date first made open access:No date available

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