We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

The cosmic spectral energy distribution in the EAGLE simulation.

Baes, Maarten and Trčka, Ana and Camps, Peter and Nersesian, Angelos and Trayford, James and Theuns, Tom and Dobbels, Wouter (2019) 'The cosmic spectral energy distribution in the EAGLE simulation.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 484 (3). pp. 4069-4082.


The cosmic spectral energy distribution (CSED) is the total emissivity as a function of wavelength of galaxies in a given cosmic volume. We compare the observed CSED from the UV to the submm to that computed from the EAGLE (Evolution and Assembly of GaLaxies and their Environments) cosmological hydrodynamical simulation, post-processed with stellar population synthesis models and including dust radiative transfer using the SKIRT code. The agreement with the data is better than 0.15 dex over the entire wavelength range at redshift z = 0, except at UV wavelengths where the EAGLE model overestimates the observed CSED by up to a factor of 2. Global properties of the CSED as inferred from CIGALE fits, such as the stellar mass density, mean star formation density, and mean dust-to-stellar-mass ratio, agree to within better than 20 per cent. At higher redshift, EAGLE increasingly underestimates the CSED at optical–NIR wavelengths with the FIR/submm emissivity underestimated by more than a factor of 5 by redshift z = 1. We believe that these differences are due to a combination of incompleteness of the EAGLE-SKIRT data base, the small simulation volume and the consequent lack of luminous galaxies, and our lack of knowledge on the evolution of the characteristics of the interstellar dust in galaxies. The impressive agreement between the simulated and observed CSED at lower z confirms that the combination of EAGLE and SKIRT dust processing yields a fairly realistic representation of the local Universe.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:© 2019 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Date accepted:22 January 2019
Date deposited:11 April 2019
Date of first online publication:29 January 2019
Date first made open access:11 April 2019

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar