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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof Richard Bower

Sawala, Till, Frenk, Carlos S., Fattahi, Azadeh, Navarro, Julio F., Theuns, Tom, Bower, Richard G., Crain, Robert A., Furlong, Michelle, Jenkins, Adrian, Schaller, Matthieu & Schaye, Joop (2016). The chosen few: the low-mass haloes that host faint galaxies. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 456(1): 85-97.

Author(s) from Durham


Since reionization prevents star formation in most haloes less massive than 3 × 109 M⊙, dwarf galaxies only populate a fraction of existing dark matter haloes. We use hydrodynamic cosmological simulations of the Local Group to study the discriminating factors for galaxy formation in the early Universe and connect them to the present-day properties of galaxies and haloes. A combination of selection effects related to reionization, and the subsequent evolution of haloes in different environments, introduces strong biases between the population of haloes that host dwarf galaxies, and the total halo population. Haloes that host galaxies formed earlier and are more concentrated. In addition, haloes more affected by tidal stripping are more likely to host a galaxy for a given mass or maximum circular velocity, vmax, today. Consequently, satellite haloes are populated more frequently than field haloes, and satellite haloes of 108–109 M⊙ or vmax of 12–20 km s−1, compatible with stellar kinematics of Local Group dwarf spheroidals, have experienced a greater than average reduction in both mass and vmax after infall. They are on closer, more radial orbits with higher infall velocities and earlier infall times. Together, these effects make dwarf galaxies highly biased tracers of the underlying dark matter distribution.