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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof Carlos Frenk

Marinacci, F., Grand, R. J. J., Pakmor, R., Springel, V., Gómez, F. A., Frenk, C. S. & White, S. D. M. (2017). Properties of HI discs in the Auriga cosmological simulations. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 466(4): 3859-3875.

Author(s) from Durham


We analyse the properties of the H i gas distribution in the Auriga project, a set of magnetohydrodynamic cosmological simulations performed with the moving-mesh code arepo and a physics model for galaxy formation that succeeds in forming realistic late-type galaxies in the 30 Milky Way-sized haloes simulated in this project. We use a simple approach to estimate the neutral hydrogen fraction in our simulation set, which treats low-density and star-forming gas separately, and we explore two different prescriptions to subtract the contribution of molecular hydrogen from the total H i content. The H i gas in the vast majority of the systems forms extended discs although more disturbed morphologies are present. Notwithstanding the general good agreement with observed H i properties – such as radial profiles and the mass–diameter relation – the Auriga galaxies are systematically larger and more gas-rich than typical nearby galaxies. Interestingly, the amount of H i gas outside the disc plane correlates with the star formation rate, consistent with a picture where most of this extra-planar H i gas originates from a fountain-like flow. Our findings are robust with respect to the different assumptions adopted for computing the molecular hydrogen fraction and do not vary significantly over a wide range of numerical resolution. The H i modelling introduced in this paper can be used in future work to build artificial interferometric H i data cubes, allowing an even closer comparison of the gas dynamics in simulated galaxies with observations.