The Horizon-AGN simulation: Evolution of galaxy properties over cosmic time

S. Kaviraj, C. Laigle, T. Kimm, J. E.G. Devriendt, Y. Dubois, C. Pichon, A. Slyz, E. Chisari, S. Peirani

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134 Citations (Scopus)


We compare the predictions of Horizon-AGN, a hydrodynamical cosmological simulation that uses an adaptive mesh refinement code, to observational data in the redshift range 0 < z < 6. We study the reproduction, by the simulation, of quantities that trace the aggregate stellar-mass growth of galaxies over cosmic time: luminosity and stellar-mass functions, the star formation main sequence, rest-frame UV–optical–near-infrared colours and the cosmic star formation history. We show that Horizon-AGN, which is not tuned to reproduce the local Universe, produces good overall agreement with these quantities, from the present day to the epoch when the Universe was 5 per cent of its current age. By comparison to Horizon-noAGN, a twin simulation without active galactic nuclei feedback, we quantify how feedback from black holes is likely to help shape galaxy stellar-mass growth in the redshift range 0 < z < 6, particularly in the most massive galaxies. Our results demonstrate that Horizon-AGN successfully captures the evolutionary trends of observed galaxies over the lifetime of the Universe, making it an excellent tool for studying the processes that drive galaxy evolution and making predictions for the next generation of galaxy surveys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4739-4752
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
SK acknowledges a Senior Research Fellowship from Worcester College Oxford. CL is supported by the ILP LABEX (under reference ANR-10-LABX-63 and ANR-11-IDEX-0004-02). TK is supported by the ERC Advanced Grant 320596 ‘The Emergence of Structure during the Epoch of Reionization’. JEGD and AS acknowledge funding support from Adrian Beecroft, the Oxford Martin School and the STFC. This research has used the DiRAC facility, jointly funded by the STFC and the Large Facilities Capital Fund of BIS, and has been partially supported by grant Spin(e) ANR-13-BS05-0005 of the French ANR. This work was granted access to the HPC resources of CINES under the allocations 2013047012, 2014047012 and 2015047012 made by GENCI. We thank Stephane Rouberol for running and maintaining the Horizon cluster hosted by the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris and the COSMOS2015 team for allowing us to use their data ahead of publication. This work is part of the Horizon-UK project.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Authors 2017..

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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