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A dark matter profile to model diverse feedback-induced core sizes of ΛCDM haloes.

Lazar, Alexandres and Bullock, James S. and Boylan-Kolchin, Michael and Chan, T.K. and Hopkins, Philip F. and Graus, Andrew S. and Wetzel, Andrew and El-Badry, Kareem and Wheeler, Coral and Straight, Maria C. and Kereš, Dušan and Faucher-Giguère, Claude-André and Fitts, Alex and Garrison-Kimmel, Shea (2020) 'A dark matter profile to model diverse feedback-induced core sizes of ΛCDM haloes.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 497 (2). pp. 2393-2417.


We analyse the cold dark matter density profiles of 54 galaxy haloes simulated with Feedback In Realistic Environments (FIRE)-2 galaxy formation physics, each resolved within 0.5 per cent of the halo virial radius. These haloes contain galaxies with masses that range from ultrafaint dwarfs (⁠M⋆≃104.5M⊙⁠) to the largest spirals (⁠M⋆≃1011M⊙⁠) and have density profiles that are both cored and cuspy. We characterize our results using a new, analytic density profile that extends the standard two-parameter Einasto form to allow for a pronounced constant density core in the resolved innermost radius. With one additional core-radius parameter, rc, this three-parameter core-Einasto profile is able to characterize our feedback-impacted dark matter haloes more accurately than other three-parameter profiles proposed in the literature. To enable comparisons with observations, we provide fitting functions for rc and other profile parameters as a function of both M⋆ and M⋆/Mhalo. In agreement with past studies, we find that dark matter core formation is most efficient at the characteristic stellar-to-halo mass ratio M⋆/Mhalo ≃ 5 × 10−3, or M⋆∼109M⊙⁠, with cores that are roughly the size of the galaxy half-light radius, rc ≃ 1−5 kpc. Furthermore, we find no evidence for core formation at radii ≳100 pc in galaxies with M⋆/Mhalo < 5 × 10−4 or M⋆≲106M⊙⁠. For Milky Way-size galaxies, baryonic contraction often makes haloes significantly more concentrated and dense at the stellar half-light radius than DMO runs. However, even at the Milky Way scale, FIRE-2 galaxy formation still produces small dark matter cores of ≃ 0.5−2 kpc in size. Recent evidence for a ∼2 kpc core in the Milky Way’s dark matter halo is consistent with this expectation.

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Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. ©: 2020 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:07 July 2020
Date deposited:27 October 2020
Date of first online publication:17 July 2020
Date first made open access:27 October 2020

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