Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 486, 3134-3179 (2019/July-1)
The E-MOSAICS project: tracing galaxy formation and assembly with the age-metallicity distribution of globular clusters.
KRUIJSSEN J.M.D., PFEFFER J.L., CRAIN R.A. and BASTIAN N.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present 25 cosmological zoom-in simulations of Milky-Way-mass galaxies in the 'MOdelling Star cluster population Assembly In Cosmological Simulations within EAGLE' (E-MOSAICS) project. E-MOSAICS couples a detailed physical model for the formation, evolution, and disruption of star clusters to the EAGLE galaxy formation simulations. This enables following the co-formation and co-evolution of galaxies and their star cluster populations, thus realizing the long-standing promise of using globular clusters (GCs) as tracers of galaxy formation and assembly. The simulations show that the age-metallicity distributions of GC populations exhibit strong galaxy-to-galaxy variations, resulting from differences in their evolutionary histories. We develop a formalism for systematically constraining the assembly histories of galaxies using GC age-metallicity distributions. These distributions are characterized through 13 metrics that we correlate with 30 quantities describing galaxy formation and assembly (e.g. halo properties, formation/assembly redshifts, stellar mass assembly time-scales, galaxy merger statistics), resulting in 20 statistically (highly) significant correlations. The GC age-metallicity distribution is a sensitive probe of the mass growth, metal enrichment, and minor merger history of the host galaxy. No such relation is found between GCs and major mergers, which play a sub-dominant role in GC formation for Milky-Way-mass galaxies. Finally, we show how the GC age-metallicity distribution enables the reconstruction of the host galaxy's merger tree, allowing us to identify all progenitors with masses M*≳10^8 M^_☉for redshifts 1 <= z <= 2.5. These results demonstrate that cosmological simulations of the co-formation and co-evolution of GCs and their host galaxies successfully unlock the potential of GCs as quantitative tracers of galaxy formation and assembly.
© 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
globular clusters: general - galaxies: evolution - galaxies: formation - galaxies: haloes - galaxies: star formation
View the reference in ADS
To bookmark this query, right click on this link: simbad:2019MNRAS.486.3134K and select 'bookmark this link' or equivalent in the popup menu