Introducing the NewHorizon simulation: galaxy properties with resolved internal dynamics across cosmic time
  Dubois, Y.  Beckmann, R.  Bournaud, F. Choi, Hoseung   Devriendt, J  et al.
Hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are increasing their level of realism by considering more physical processes, having more resolution or larger statistics. However, one usually has to either sacrifice the statistical power of such simulations or the resolution reach within galaxies. Here, we introduce the NewHorizon project where a zoom-in region of ∼(16Mpc)^3, larger than a standard zoom-in region around a single halo, embedded in a larger box is simulated at high resolution. A resolution of up to 34 pc, typical of individual zoom-in resimulated halos is reached within galaxies, allowing the simulation to capture the multi-phase nature of the interstellar medium and the clumpy nature of the star formation process in galaxies. In this introductory paper, we present several key fundamental properties of galaxies and of their black holes including the galaxy mass function, the cosmic star formation rate, the galactic metallicities, the Kennicutt-Schmidt relation, the stellar-to-halo mass relation, the galaxy sizes, their stellar kinematics and morphology, the gas content within galaxies and its kinematics, and the black hole mass and spin properties over time. The various scaling relations are broadly reproduced by NewHorizon with some differences with the standard observables. Due to its exquisite spatial resolution, NewHorizon captures the inefficient process of star formation in galaxies, which evolve over time from being more turbulent, gas-rich and star-bursting at high redshift. These high redshift galaxies are also more compact, and are more elliptical and clumpier until the level of internal gas turbulence decays enough to allow for the formation of discs. The NewHorizon simulation gives access to a broad range of galaxy physics at low-to-intermediate stellar masses, a regime that will become accessible in the near future through surveys such as the LSST.
20/09/2020 Submitted for publication to AA(pdf)
              Horizon: On the Origin of the Stellar Disk and Spheroid of Field Galaxies at z = 0.7
  Min-Jung Park,  Sukyoung Yi,, Yohan Dubois  et al.
The origin of the disk and spheroid of galaxies has been a key open question in understanding their morphology. Using the high-resolution cosmological simulation New Horizon, we explore kinematically decomposed disk and spheroidal components of 144 field galaxies with masses greater than {10}9 {M}☉ at z = 0.7. The origins of stellar particles are classified according to their birthplace (in situ or ex situ) and their orbits at birth. Before disk settling, stars form mainly through chaotic mergers between protogalaxies and become part of the spheroidal component. When disk settling starts, we find that more massive galaxies begin to form disk stars from earlier epochs; massive galaxies commence to develop their disks at z ∼ 1-2, while low-mass galaxies do after z ∼ 1. The formation of disks is affected by accretion as well, as mergers can trigger gas turbulence or induce misaligned gas infall that hinders galaxies from forming corotating disk stars. The importance of accreted stars is greater in more massive galaxies, especially in developing massive spheroids. A significant fraction of the spheroids come from the disk stars that are perturbed, and this becomes more important at lower redshifts. Some (∼12.5%) of our massive galaxies develop counter-rotating disks from the gas infall misaligned with the existing disk plane, which can last for more than a gigayear until they become the dominant component and flip the angular momentum of the galaxy in the opposite direction. The final disk-to-total ratio of a galaxy needs to be understood in relation to its stellar mass and accretion history. We quantify the significance of the stars with different origins and provide them as guiding values.
01/09/2019 Accepted for publication by ApJ(pdf)
              Horizon: On the Origin of the Stellar Disk and Spheroid of Field Galaxies at z = 0.7
  Marta Volonteri,  Hugo Pfister, Ricarda Beckman  et al.
Massive black hole (MBH) coalescences are powerful sources of low-frequency gravitational waves. To study these events in the cosmological context we need to trace the large-scale structure and cosmic evolution of a statistical population of galaxies, from dim dwarfs to bright galaxies. To cover such a large range of galaxy masses, we analyse two complementary simulations: Horizon-AGN with a large volume and low resolution which tracks the high-mass (> 1e7 Msun) MBH population, and NewHorizon with a smaller volume but higher resolution that traces the low-mass (< 1e7 Msun) MBH population. While Horizon-AGN can be used to estimate the rate of inspirals for Pulsar Timing Arrays, NewHorizon can investigate MBH mergers in a statistical sample of dwarf galaxies for LISA, which is sensitive to low-mass MBHs. After the numerical MBH merger at the resolution limit, we post-process MBH dynamics to account for time delays mostly determined by dynamical friction and stellar hardening. In both simulations, MBHs typically merge long after the galaxies do, so that the galaxy morphology at the time of the MBH merger is no longer determined by the galaxy merger from which the MBH merger originated. These time delays cause a loss of high-z MBH coalescences, shifting the peak of the MBH merger rate to z~1-2. This study shows how tracking MBH mergers in low-mass galaxies is crucial to probing the MBH merger rate for LISA and investigate the properties of the host galaxies.
01/03/2020 MNRAS(pdf)
              The role of mergers and fly-bys in driving the evolution of  dwarf galaxies over cosmic time
Martin, G.  Jackson, R. A.  Kaviraj, S.  Choi, H.  Devriendt, J. E. G.  et al.
Dwarf galaxies (M*<10^9 Msun) are key drivers of mass assembly in high mass galaxies, but relatively little is understood about the assembly of dwarf galaxies themselves. Using the New Horizon cosmological simulation (40 pc spatial resolution), we investigate how mergers and fly-bys drive the mass assembly and structural evolution of around 1000 field and group dwarfs up to z=0.5. We find that, while dwarf galaxies often exhibit disturbed morphologies (30 and 50 per cent are disturbed at z=1 and z=3 respectively), only a small proportion of the morphological disturbances seen in dwarf galaxies are driven by mergers at any redshift (for 10^9 Msun, mergers drive only 20 per cent morphological disturbances). They are instead primarily the result of interactions that do not end in a merger (e.g. fly-bys). Given the large fraction of apparently morphologically disturbed dwarf galaxies which are not, in fact, merging, this finding is particularly important to future studies identifying dwarf mergers and post-mergers morphologically at intermediate and high redshifts. Dwarfs typically undergo one major and one minor merger between z=5 and z=0.5, accounting for 10 per cent of their total stellar mass. Mergers can also drive moderate star formation enhancements at lower redshifts (up to 5 times at z=1), but this only accounts for 5 per cent of stellar mass in the dwarf regime given their infrequency. Non-merger interactions drive significantly smaller star formation enhancements (around two times), but their preponderance relative to mergers means they account for 10 per cent of stellar mass in the dwarf regime.
01/07/2020 Submitted for publication to MNRAS(pdf)
              origin of low-surface-brightness galaxies in the dwarf regime
  Jackson, R. A.  Martin, G.  Kaviraj, S.  Ramso, M.;  Devriendt, J  et al.
Low-surface-brightness galaxies (LSBGs) -- defined as systems that are fainter than the surface-brightness limits of past wide-area surveys -- form the overwhelming majority of galaxies in the dwarf regime (M* < 10^9 MSun). Using New Horizon, a high-resolution cosmological simulation, we study the origin of LSBGs and explain why LSBGs at similar stellar mass show the large observed spread in surface brightness. New Horizon galaxies populate a well-defined locus in the surface brightness -- stellar mass plane, with a spread of ~3 mag arcsec^-2, in agreement with deep SDSS Stripe data. Galaxies with fainter surface brightnesses today are born in regions of higher dark-matter density. This results in faster gas accretion and more intense star formation at early epochs. The stronger resultant supernova feedback flattens gas profiles at a faster rate which, in turn, creates shallower stellar profiles (i.e. more diffuse systems) more rapidly. As star formation declines towards late epochs (z<1), the larger tidal perturbations and ram pressure experienced by these systems (due to their denser local environments) accelerate the divergence in surface brightness, by increasing their effective radii and reducing star formation respectively. A small minority of dwarfs depart from the main locus towards high surface brightnesses, making them detectable in past wide surveys. These systems have anomalously high star-formation rates, triggered by recent, fly-by or merger-driven starbursts. We note that objects considered extreme/anomalous at the depth of current datasets, e.g. `ultra-diffuse galaxies', actually dominate the predicted dwarf population and will be routinely visible in future surveys like LSST.
01/07/2020 Submitted for publication to MNRAS(pdf)
Exploring the origin of thick disks using the NewHorizon and Galactica simulations
  Park, Minjung  Yi, Sukyoung.  Peirani, S.  Pichon, Christophe   Dubois, Y  et al.
Ever since the thick disk was proposed to explain the vertical distribution of the Milky Way disk stars, its origin has been a recurrent question. We aim to answer this question by inspecting 19 disk galaxies with stellar mass greater than 10^10 M in recent cosmological high-resolution zoom-in simulations: Galactica and NewHorizon. The thin and thick disks are reproduced by the simulations with scale heights and luminosity ratios that are in reasonable agreement with observations. When we spatially classify the disk stars into thin and thick disks by their heights from the galactic plane, the “thick” disk stars are older, less metal-rich, kinematically hotter, and higher in accreted star fraction than the “thin” disk counterparts. However, both disks are dominated by stellar particles formed in situ. We find that approximately half of the in-situ stars in the thick disks are formed even before the galaxies develop their disks, and the other half are formed in spatially and kinematically thinner disks and then thickened with time by heating. We thus conclude from our simulations that the thin and thick disk components are not entirely distinct in terms of formation processes, but rather markers of the evolution of galactic disks. Moreover, as the combined result of the thickening of the existing disk stars and the continued formation of young thin-disk stars, the vertical distribution of stars does not change much after the disks settle, pointing to the modulation of both orbital diffusion and star formation by the same confounding factor: the proximity of galaxies to marginal stability.
30/09/2020 Submitted for publication to MNRAS(pdf)
Dark-matter-deficient dwarf galaxies form via tidal stripping of dark matter in interactions with massive companions
  Jackson, R.,   Kaviraj, S.,   Martin, G.,   Devriendt, J.,   Slyz, A.   et al.
In the standard Lambda-CDM paradigm, dwarf galaxies are expected to be dark-matter-rich, as baryonic feedback is thought to quickly drive gas out of their shallow potential wells and quench star formation at early epochs. Recent observations of local dwarfs with extremely low dark matter contents appear to contradict this picture, potentially bringing the validity of the standard model into question. We use NewHorizon, a high-resolution cosmological simulation, to demonstrate that sustained stripping of dark matter, in tidal interactions between a massive galaxy and a dwarf satellite, naturally produces dwarfs that are dark-matter deficient, even though their initial dark-matter fractions are normal. The process of dark matter stripping is responsible for the large scatter in the stellar-to-halo mass relation in the dwarf regime. The degree of stripping is driven by the closeness of the orbit of the dwarf around its massive companion and, in extreme cases, produces dwarfs which exhibit stellar-to-halo mass ratios as low as unity, consistent with the findings of recent observational studies. Given their close orbits, a significant fraction of DM deficient dwarfs merge with their massive companions (e.g. ~70 per cent merge over timescales of ~3.5 Gyrs), with the DM deficient population being constantly replenished by new interactions between dwarfs and massive companions. The creation of these galaxies is, therefore, a natural by-product of galaxy evolution and the existence of these systems is not in tension with the standard paradigm..
10/10/2020 Submitted for publication to MNRAS(pdf)
Compaction-driven black hole growth
  Lapiner, Sharon ;   Dekel, Avishai ; R.,  Dubois, Yohan.
We study the interplay between galaxy evolution and central black hole (BH) growth using the NewHorizon cosmological simulation. BH growth is slow when the dark-matter halo is below a golden mass of Mv∼1012M⊙ , and rapid above it. The early suppression is primarily due to gas removal by supernova (SN) feedback in the shallow potential well, predicting that BHs of ∼105M⊙ tend to lie below the linear relation with bulge mass. Rapid BH growth is allowed when the halo is massive enough to lock in the SN ejecta by its deep potential well and its heated circumgalactic medium (CGM). The onset of BH growth between these two zones is triggered by a wet-compaction event, caused, e.g. by mergers or counter-rotating streams. It brings gas that lost angular momentum into the inner- 1kpc 'blue nugget' and causes major transitions in the galaxy structural, kinematic, and compositional properties, including the onset of star-formation quenching. The compaction events are confined to the golden mass by the same mechanisms of SN feedback and hot CGM. The onset of BH growth is associated with its sinkage to the centre due to the compaction-driven deepening of the potential well and the associated dynamical friction. The galaxy golden mass is thus imprinted as a threshold for rapid BH growth, allowing the AGN feedback to keep the CGM hot and maintain long-term quenching. AGN feedback is not causing the onset of quenching; they are both caused by a compaction event when the mass is between the SN and hot-CGM zones..
30/06/2021 Accepted for publication by MNRAS(pdf)
Performance Enhancement of Tree-based Friends-of-friends Galaxy Finder for High-resolution Simulations of Galaxy Formation
  Rhee, Jinsu   Elahi, Pascal   Martin, G.,   Yi, Sukyoung.
Cosmological simulations are useful tools for studying the evolution of galaxies, and it is critical to accurately identify galaxies and their halos from raw simulation data. The friends-of-friends (FoF) algorithm has been widely adopted for this purpose because of its simplicity and expandability to higher dimensions. However, it is cost-inefficient when applied to high-resolution simulations because standard FoF implementation leads to too many distance calculations in dense regions. We confirm this through our exercise of applying the six-dimensional (6D) FoF galaxy finder code, VELOCIRAPTOR, on the NEWHORIZON simulation. The high particle resolution of NEWHORIZON (M star ~ 104 M ⊙) allows a large central number density (106 kpc-3) for typical galaxies, resulting in a few days to weeks of galaxy searches for just one snapshot. Even worse, we observed a significant decrease in the FoF performance in the high-dimensional 6D searches: "the curse of dimensionality" problem. To overcome these issues, we have developed several implementations that can be readily applied to any tree-based FoF code. They include limiting visits to tree nodes, reordering the list of particles for searching neighbor particles, and altering the tree structure. Compared to the run with the original code, the new run with these implementations results in the identical galaxy detection with the ideal performance, O(NlogN), N being the number of particles in a galaxy-with a speed gain of a factor of 2700 in 3D or 12 in a 6D FoF search.
10/10/2020 Accepted for publication by MNRAS(pdf)
Radio AGN in nearby dwarf galaxies: the important role of AGN in dwarf galaxy evolution
  Davis, F.   Kaviraj, S.   Hardcastle, M. J.   Martin, G.   Jackson, R. A. et al.
We combine deep optical and radio data, from the Hyper Suprime-Cam and the Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR), respectively, to study 78 radio active galactic nuclei (AGN) in nearby (z < 0.5) dwarf galaxies. Comparison to a control sample, matched in stellar mass and redshift, indicates that the AGN and controls reside in similar environments, show similar star formation rates (which trace gas availability) and exhibit a comparable incidence of tidal features (which indicate recent interactions). We explore the AGN properties by combining the predicted gas conditions in dwarfs from a cosmological hydrodynamical simulation with a Monte Carlo suite of simulated radio sources, based on a semi-analytical model for radio-galaxy evolution. In the subset of LOFAR-detectable simulated sources, which have a similar distribution of radio luminosities as our observed AGN, the median jet powers, ages, and accretion rates are ~1035 W, ~5 Myr, and ~10-3.4 M⊙ yr-1, respectively. The median mechanical energy output of these sources is ~100 times larger than the median binding energy expected in dwarf gas reservoirs, making AGN feedback plausible. Since special circumstances (in terms of environment, gas availability, and interactions) are not necessary for the presence of AGN, and the central gas masses are predicted to be an order of magnitude larger than that required to fuel the AGN, AGN triggering in dwarfs is likely to be stochastic and a common phenomenon. Together with the plausibility of energetic feedback, this suggests that AGN could be important drivers of dwarf galaxy evolution, as is the case in massive galaxies.
01/04/2022 Accepted for publication by MNRAS(pdf)
The NewHorizon simulation - to bar or not to bar
  Reddish, J. ;  Kraljic, K. ;  Petersen, M. ;  S. Tep, K. ;  et al.
We use the NEWHORIZON simulation to study the redshift evolution of bar properties and fractions within galaxies in the stellar masses range M⋆ = 107.25-1011.4 M⊙ over the redshift range of z = 0.25-1.3. We select disc galaxies using stellar kinematics as a proxy for galaxy morphology. We employ two different automated bar detection methods, coupled with visual inspection, resulting in observable bar fractions of fbar = 0.070 +0.018−0.012 at z ~ 1.3, decreasing to fbar = 0.011 +0.014−0.003 at z ~ 0.25. Only one galaxy is visually confirmed as strongly barred in our sample. This bar is hosted by the most massive disc and only survives from z = 1.3 down to z = 0.7. Such a low bar fraction, in particular amongst Milky Way-like progenitors, highlights a missing bars problem, shared by literally all cosmological simulations with spatial resolution <100 pc to date. The analysis of linear growth rates, rotation curves, and derived summary statistics of the stellar, gas and dark matter components suggest that galaxies with stellar masses below 109.5-1010 M⊙ in NEWHORIZON appear to be too dominated by dark matter relative to stellar content to form a bar, while more massive galaxies typically have formed large bulges that prevent bar persistence at low redshift. This investigation confirms that the evolution of the bar fraction puts stringent constraints on the assembly history of baryons and dark matter on to galaxies.
01/05/2022 Accepted for publication by MNRAS(pdf)
Preparing for low surface brightness science with the Vera C. Rubin Observatory: Characterization of tidal features from mock images
  Martin, G.   Bazkiaei, A. E.   Spavone, M.   Iodice, E. , et al.
Tidal features in the outskirts of galaxies yield unique information about their past interactions and are a key prediction of the hierarchical structure formation paradigm. The Vera C. Rubin Observatory is poised to deliver deep observations for potentially millions of objects with visible tidal features, but the inference of galaxy interaction histories from such features is not straightforward. Utilizing automated techniques and human visual classification in conjunction with realistic mock images produced using the NEWHORIZON cosmological simulation, we investigate the nature, frequency, and visibility of tidal features and debris across a range of environments and stellar masses. In our simulated sample, around 80 per cent of the flux in the tidal features around Milky Way or greater mass galaxies is detected at the 10-yr depth of the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (30-31 mag arcsec-2), falling to 60 per cent assuming a shallower final depth of 29.5 mag arcsec-2. The fraction of total flux found in tidal features increases towards higher masses, rising to 10 per cent for the most massive objects in our sample (M⋆ ~ 1011.5 M⊙). When observed at sufficient depth, such objects frequently exhibit many distinct tidal features with complex shapes. The interpretation and characterization of such features varies significantly with image depth and object orientation, introducing significant biases in their classification. Assuming the data reduction pipeline is properly optimized, we expect the Rubin Observatory to be capable of recovering much of the flux found in the outskirts of Milky Way mass galaxies, even at intermediate redshifts (z < 0.2).
10/10/2020 Submitted for publication to MNRAS(pdf)
On the viability of determining galaxy properties from observations - I. Star formation rates and kinematics
  Grisdale, Kearn   Hogan, Laurence   Rigopoulou, Dimitra   Thatte, Niranjan ;   et al.
We explore how observations relate to the physical properties of the emitting galaxies by post-processing a pair of merging z ~ 2 galaxies from the cosmological, hydrodynamical simulation NEWHORIZON, using LCARS (Light from Cloudy Added to RAMSES) to encode the physical properties of the simulated galaxy into H α emission line. By carrying out mock observations and analysis on these data cubes, we ascertain which physical properties of the galaxy will be recoverable with the HARMONI spectrograph on the European Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). We are able to estimate the galaxy's star formation rate and dynamical mass to a reasonable degree of accuracy, with values within a factor of 1.81 and 1.38 of the true value. The kinematic structure of the galaxy is also recovered in mock observations. Furthermore, we are able to recover radial profiles of the velocity dispersion and are therefore able to calculate how the dynamical ratio varies as a function of distance from the galaxy centre. Finally, we show that when calculated on galaxy scales the dynamical ratio does not always provide a reliable measure of a galaxy's stability against gravity or act as an indicator of a minor merger.
10/10/2020 Submitted for publication to MNRAS(pdf)