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Merger-induced galaxy transformations in the ARTEMIS simulations

Dillamore, AM, Belokurov, V, Font, AS and McCarthy, IG (2022) Merger-induced galaxy transformations in the ARTEMIS simulations. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 513 (2). pp. 1867-1886. ISSN 0035-8711

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Using the ARTEMIS set of 45 high-resolution cosmological simulations, we investigate a range of merger-induced dynamical transformations of Milky Way-like galaxies. We first identify populations of accreted stars on highly radial orbits, similar to the ‘Gaia Sausage’ in the Milky Way. We show that ≈1/3 of the ARTEMIS galaxies contain a similar feature, and confirm that they usually comprise stellar debris from the most massive accreted satellite. Selecting 15 galaxies with discs at the present-day, we study their changes around the times of the GS-like mergers. Dark matter haloes of many of these exhibit global changes in shape and orientation, with almost half becoming significantly more spherical when the mergers occur. Focusing on the galaxies themselves, we find that 4/15 have stellar discs which experience large changes in the orientation of their angular momentum (AM) axes, at rates of up to ∼60 degrees Gyr−1. By calculating the orbital angular momentum axes of the satellites before they are accreted, we show that there is a tendency for the disc’s AM to become more aligned with this axis after the merger. We also investigate the origin of in situ retrograde stars, analogous to the ‘Splash’ in the Milky Way. Tracing them back to earlier snapshots, we demonstrate that they were often disrupted on to their extreme orbits by multiple early mergers. We also find that the total mass of these stars outside the central regions positively correlates with the total accreted stellar mass.

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: astro-ph.GA; astro-ph.GA
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Oxford University Press
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 10 May 2022 11:17
Last Modified: 10 May 2022 11:17
DOI or ID number: 10.1093/mnras/stac1038
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16790
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