Constraining stellar assembly and active galactic nucleus feedback at the peak epoch of star formation

T. Kimm, S. Kaviraj, J. E.G. Devriendt, S. H. Cohen, R. A. Windhorst, Y. Dubois, A. Slyz, N. P. Hathi, R. E. Ryan, R. W. O'Connell, M. A. Dopita, J. Silk

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We study stellar assembly and feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN) around the epoch of peak star formation (1 ≲ z ≲ 2), by comparing hydrodynamic simulations to rest-frame UV-optical galaxy colours from the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) Early Release Science (ERS) programme. Our adaptive mesh refinement simulations include metal-dependent radiative cooling, star formation, kinetic outflows due to supernova explosions and feedback from supermassive black holes. Our model assumes that when gas accretes on to black holes, a fraction of the energy is used to form either thermal winds or subrelativistic momentum-imparting collimated jets, depending on the accretion rate. We find that the predicted rest-frame UV-optical colours of galaxies in the model that includes AGN feedback are in broad agreement with the observed colours of the WFC3 ERS sample at 1 ≲ z ≲ 2. The predicted number of massive galaxies also matches well with observations in this redshift range. However, the massive galaxies are predicted to show higher levels of residual star formation activity than the observational estimates, suggesting the need for further suppression of star formation without significantly altering the stellar mass function. We discuss possible improvements, involving faster stellar assembly through enhanced star formation during galaxy mergers while star formation at the peak epoch is still modulated by the AGN feedback.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L96-L100
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Volume425
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sep 1

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active galactic nuclei
star formation
assembly
time measurement
galaxies
color
merger
simulation
explosion
momentum
outflow
hydrodynamics
cameras
accretion
cooling
kinetics
metal
stellar mass
gas
supernovae

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Kimm, T. ; Kaviraj, S. ; Devriendt, J. E.G. ; Cohen, S. H. ; Windhorst, R. A. ; Dubois, Y. ; Slyz, A. ; Hathi, N. P. ; Ryan, R. E. ; O'Connell, R. W. ; Dopita, M. A. ; Silk, J. / Constraining stellar assembly and active galactic nucleus feedback at the peak epoch of star formation. In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters. 2012 ; Vol. 425, No. 1. pp. L96-L100.
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Kimm, T, Kaviraj, S, Devriendt, JEG, Cohen, SH, Windhorst, RA, Dubois, Y, Slyz, A, Hathi, NP, Ryan, RE, O'Connell, RW, Dopita, MA & Silk, J 2012, 'Constraining stellar assembly and active galactic nucleus feedback at the peak epoch of star formation', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, vol. 425, no. 1, pp. L96-L100. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-3933.2012.01309.x

Constraining stellar assembly and active galactic nucleus feedback at the peak epoch of star formation. / Kimm, T.; Kaviraj, S.; Devriendt, J. E.G.; Cohen, S. H.; Windhorst, R. A.; Dubois, Y.; Slyz, A.; Hathi, N. P.; Ryan, R. E.; O'Connell, R. W.; Dopita, M. A.; Silk, J.

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, Vol. 425, No. 1, 01.09.2012, p. L96-L100.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

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AU - Kimm, T.

AU - Kaviraj, S.

AU - Devriendt, J. E.G.

AU - Cohen, S. H.

AU - Windhorst, R. A.

AU - Dubois, Y.

AU - Slyz, A.

AU - Hathi, N. P.

AU - Ryan, R. E.

AU - O'Connell, R. W.

AU - Dopita, M. A.

AU - Silk, J.

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AB - We study stellar assembly and feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN) around the epoch of peak star formation (1 ≲ z ≲ 2), by comparing hydrodynamic simulations to rest-frame UV-optical galaxy colours from the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) Early Release Science (ERS) programme. Our adaptive mesh refinement simulations include metal-dependent radiative cooling, star formation, kinetic outflows due to supernova explosions and feedback from supermassive black holes. Our model assumes that when gas accretes on to black holes, a fraction of the energy is used to form either thermal winds or subrelativistic momentum-imparting collimated jets, depending on the accretion rate. We find that the predicted rest-frame UV-optical colours of galaxies in the model that includes AGN feedback are in broad agreement with the observed colours of the WFC3 ERS sample at 1 ≲ z ≲ 2. The predicted number of massive galaxies also matches well with observations in this redshift range. However, the massive galaxies are predicted to show higher levels of residual star formation activity than the observational estimates, suggesting the need for further suppression of star formation without significantly altering the stellar mass function. We discuss possible improvements, involving faster stellar assembly through enhanced star formation during galaxy mergers while star formation at the peak epoch is still modulated by the AGN feedback.

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