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Title: THE EATING HABITS OF MILKY WAY-MASS HALOS: DESTROYED DWARF SATELLITES AND THE METALLICITY DISTRIBUTION OF ACCRETED STARS

We study the mass spectrum of destroyed dwarfs that contribute to the accreted stellar mass of Milky Way (MW)-mass (M{sub vir} ∼ 10{sup 12.1} M{sub ⊙}) halos using a suite of 45 zoom-in dissipationless simulations. Empirical models are employed to relate (peak) subhalo mass to dwarf stellar mass, and we use constraints from z = 0 observations and hydrodynamical simulations to estimate the metallicity distribution of the accreted stellar material. The dominant contributors to the accreted stellar mass are relatively massive dwarfs with M{sub star} ∼ 10{sup 8}–10{sup 10}M{sub ⊙}. Halos with more quiescent accretion histories tend to have lower mass progenitors (10{sup 8}–10{sup 9} M{sub ⊙}), and lower overall accreted stellar masses. Ultra-faint mass (M{sub star} < 10{sup 5} M{sub ⊙}) dwarfs contribute a negligible amount (≪1%) to the accreted stellar mass and, despite having low average metallicities, supply a small fraction (∼2%–5%) of the very metal-poor stars with [Fe/H] < −2. Dwarfs with masses 10{sup 5} < M{sub star}/M{sub ⊙} < 10{sup 8} provide a substantial amount of the very metal-poor stellar material (∼40%–80%), and even relatively metal-rich dwarfs with M{sub star} > 10{sup 8} M{sub ⊙} can contribute a considerable fraction (∼20%–60%) of metal-poor stars if their metallicity distributions have significant metal-poor tails. Finally, we find that the generic assumption of a quiescent assembly historymore » for the MW halo seems to be in tension with the mass spectrum of its surviving dwarfs. We suggest that the MW could be a “transient fossil”; a quiescent halo with a recent accretion event(s) that disguises the preceding formation history of the halo.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology and Physics Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22518518
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 821; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; DWARF STARS; HYDROGEN; LIMITING VALUES; MASS; MASS SPECTRA; METALLICITY; MILKY WAY; SATELLITES; STAR ACCRETION; STARS; TRANSIENTS