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Lambda-Cold Dark Matter, Stellar Feedback, and the Galactic Halo Abundance Pattern

Robertson, B, Bullock, JS, Font, AS, Johnston, KV and Hernquist, L (2005) Lambda-Cold Dark Matter, Stellar Feedback, and the Galactic Halo Abundance Pattern. Astrophysical Journal, 632 (2). ISSN 0004-637X

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(Abridged) The hierarchical formation scenario for the stellar halo requires the accretion and disruption of dwarf galaxies, yet low-metallicity halo stars are enriched in alpha-elements compared to similar, low-metallicity stars in dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxies. We address this primary challenge for the hierarchical formation scenario for the stellar halo by combining chemical evolution modelling with cosmologically-motivated mass accretion histories for the Milky Way dark halo and its satellites. We demonstrate that stellar halo and dwarf galaxy abundance patterns can be explained naturally within the LCDM framework. Our solution relies fundamentally on the LCDM model prediction that the majority of the stars in the stellar halo were formed within a few relatively massive, ~5 x 10^10 Msun, dwarf irregular (dIrr)-size dark matter halos, which were accreted and destroyed ~10 Gyr in the past. These systems necessarily have short-lived, rapid star formation histories, are enriched primarily by Type II supernovae, and host stars with enhanced [a/Fe] abundances. In contrast, dwarf spheroidal galaxies exist within low-mass dark matter hosts of ~10^9 Msun, where supernovae winds are important in setting the intermediate [a/Fe] ratios observed. Our model includes enrichment from Type Ia and Type II supernovae as well as stellar winds, and includes a physically-motivated supernovae feedback prescription calibrated to reproduce the local dwarf galaxy stellar mass - metallicity relation. We use representative examples of the type of dark matter halos we expect to host a destroyed ``stellar halo progenitor'' dwarf, a surviving dIrr, and a surviving dSph galaxy, and show that their derived abundance patterns, stellar masses, and gas masses are consistent with those observed for each type of system.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences, 0202 Atomic, Molecular, Nuclear, Particle and Plasma Physics, 0306 Physical Chemistry (incl. Structural)
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: American Astronomical Society; IOP Publishing
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2021 11:51
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 05:32
DOI or ID number: 10.1086/452619
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14885
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