A jolt to the system: ram pressure on low-mass galaxies in simulations of the Local Group

Jenna Samuel*, Bhavya Pardasani, Andrew Wetzel, Isaiah Santistevan, Michael Boylan-Kolchin, Jorge Moreno, Claude André Faucher-Giguère

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Low-mass galaxies are highly susceptible to environmental effects that can efficiently quench star formation. We explore the role of ram pressure in quenching low-mass galaxies () within 2 Mpc of Milky Way (MW) hosts using the FIRE-2 simulations. Ram pressure is highly variable across different environments, within individual MW haloes, and for individual low-mass galaxies over time. The impulsiveness of ram pressure - the maximum ram pressure scaled to the integrated ram pressure prior to quenching - correlates with whether a galaxy is quiescent or star forming. The time-scale between maximum ram pressure and quenching is anticorrelated with impulsiveness, such that high impulsiveness corresponds to quenching time-scales <1 Gyr. Galaxies in low-mass groups () outside of MW haloes experience typical ram pressure only slightly lower than ram pressure on MW satellites, helping to explain effective quenching via group preprocessing. Ram pressure on MW satellites rises sharply with decreasing distance to the host, and, at a fixed physical distance, more recent pericentre passages are typically associated with higher ram pressure because of greater gas density in the inner host halo at late times. Furthermore, the ram pressure and gas density in the inner regions of Local Group-like paired host haloes are higher at small angles off the host galaxy disc compared to isolated hosts. The quiescent fraction of satellites within these low-latitude regions is also elevated in the simulations and observations, signaling possible anisotropic quenching via ram pressure around MW-mass hosts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3849-3864
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume525
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Keywords

  • galaxies: Local Group
  • galaxies: evolution
  • methods: numerical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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