Friday, 6 November 2009

Formation of late-type spiral galaxies: Gas return from stellar populations regulates disk destruction and bulge growth.

In astro-ph/0911.0891, Marie Martig and Frederic Bournaud report on the growth of bulges in disk like galaxies in a cosmological environment. The zoom in on a Milky-Way like halo in cosmological box that had a quiet merger history, to make it prone to disk formation. They include baryonic physics, including star formation, but excluding supernova feedback. In one simulation they add the mass loss of older stellar populations in a relatively simple way. They let the stars loose an amount of mass that is typical for a Salpeter IMF (~45% of the SSP mass is returned in total). This lost gas mass adds to the disk and makes disk survival (and a smaller bulge fraction) a lot easier. The disk becomes more stable to both internal instabilities and to minor mergers.

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