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 Auriga stellar haloes : connecting stellar population properties with accretion and merging history.

Monachesi, Antonela and Gómez, Facundo A. and Grand, Robert J. J. and Simpson, Christine M. and Kauffmann, Guinevere and Bustamante, Sebastián and Marinacci, Federico and Pakmor, Rüdiger and Springel, Volker and Frenk, Carlos S. and White, Simon D. M. and Tissera, Patricia B. (2019) 'The Auriga stellar haloes : connecting stellar population properties with accretion and merging history.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 485 (2). pp. 2589-2616.


We examine the stellar haloes of the Auriga simulations, a suite of 30 cosmological magnetohydrodynamical high-resolution simulations of Milky Way-mass galaxies performed with the moving-mesh code arepo. We study halo global properties and radial profiles out to ∼150 kpc for each individual galaxy. The Auriga haloes are diverse in their masses and density profiles, mean metallicity and metallicity gradients, ages, and shapes, reflecting the stochasticity inherent in their accretion and merger histories. A comparison with observations of nearby late-type galaxies shows very good agreement between most observed and simulated halo properties. However, Auriga haloes are typically too massive. We find a connection between population gradients and mass assembly history: galaxies with few significant progenitors have more massive haloes, possess large negative halo metallicity gradients, and steeper density profiles. The number of accreted galaxies, either disrupted or under disruption, that contribute 90 per cent of the accreted halo mass ranges from 1 to 14, with a median of 6.5, and their stellar masses span over three orders of magnitude. The observed halo mass–metallicity relation is well reproduced by Auriga and is set by the stellar mass and metallicity of the dominant satellite contributors. This relationship is found not only for the accreted component but also for the total (accreted + in situ) stellar halo. Our results highlight the potential of observable halo properties to infer the assembly history of galaxies.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Date accepted:11 February 2019
Date deposited:26 June 2019
Date of first online publication:26 February 2019
Date first made open access:27 June 2019

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar