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Quenching of satellite galaxies of Milky Way analogues: reconciling theory and observations

Font, AS, McCarthy, IG, Belokurov, V, Brown, ST and Stafford, SG (2022) Quenching of satellite galaxies of Milky Way analogues: reconciling theory and observations. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 511 (1). pp. 1544-1556. ISSN 0035-8711

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The vast majority of low-mass satellite galaxies around the Milky Way and M31 appear virtually devoid of cool gas and show no signs of recent or ongoing star formation. Cosmological simulations demonstrate that such quenching is expected and is due to the harsh environmental conditions that satellites face when joining the Local Group (LG). However, recent observations of Milky Way analogues in the SAGA survey present a very different picture, showing the majority of observed satellites to be actively forming stars, calling into question the realism of current simulations and the typicality of the LG. Here we use the ARTEMIS suite of high-resolution cosmological hydrodynamical simulations to carry out a careful comparison with observations of dwarf satellites in the LG, SAGA, and the Local Volume (LV) survey. We show that differences between SAGA and the LG and LV surveys, as well as between SAGA and the ARTEMIS simulations, can be strongly reduced by considering differences in the host mass distributions and (more importantly) observational selection effects, specifically that low-mass satellites which have only recently been accreted are more likely to be star-forming, have a higher optical surface brightness, and are therefore more likely to be included in the SAGA survey. This picture is confirmed using data from the deeper LV survey, which shows pronounced quenching at low masses, in accordance with the predictions of LCDM-based simulations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2022 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2022 11:50
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2022 12:00
DOI or ID number: 10.1093/mnras/stac183
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16427
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