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Properties of Local Group galaxies in hydrodynamical simulations of sterile neutrino dark matter cosmologies.

Lovell, M. R. and Bose, S. and Boyarsky, A. and Crain, R. A. and Frenk, C. S. and Hellwing, W. A. and Ludlow, A. D. and Navarro, J. F. and Ruchayskiy, O. and Sawala, T. and Schaller, M. and Schaye, J. and Theuns, T. (2017) 'Properties of Local Group galaxies in hydrodynamical simulations of sterile neutrino dark matter cosmologies.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 468 (4). pp. 4285-4298.


We study galaxy formation in sterile neutrino dark matter models that differ significantly from both cold and from ‘warm thermal relic’ models. We use the EAGLE code to carry out hydrodynamic simulations of the evolution of pairs of galaxies chosen to resemble the Local Group, as part of the APOSTLE simulations project. We compare cold dark matter (CDM) with two sterile neutrino models with 7 keV mass: one, the warmest among all models of this mass (LA120) and the other, a relatively cold case (LA10). We show that the lower concentration of sterile neutrino subhaloes compared to their CDM counterparts makes the inferred inner dark matter content of galaxies like Fornax (or Magellanic Clouds) less of an outlier in the sterile neutrino cosmologies. In terms of the galaxy number counts, the LA10 simulations are indistinguishable from CDM when one takes into account halo-to-halo (or ‘simulation-to-simulation’) scatter. In order for the LA120 model to match the number of Local Group dwarf galaxies, a higher fraction of low-mass haloes is required to form galaxies than is predicted by the EAGLE simulations. As the census of the Local Group galaxies nears completion, this population may provide a strong discriminant between cold and warm dark matter models.

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Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2017. The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Date accepted:14 March 2017
Date deposited:18 July 2017
Date of first online publication:16 March 2017
Date first made open access:18 July 2017

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