New multi-zoom method for N-body simulations: application to galaxy growth by accretion

Astronomy and Astrophysics – Astrophysics

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Scientific paper

10.1051/0004-6361:20042473

In this work we focus on the properties of accretion onto galaxies. Through numerical simulations we investigate the geometrical properties of accretion. To span the scale range required in these simulations we have developed a new numerical technique: the multi-zoom method. We run a series of Tree-SPH simulations in smaller and smaller boxes at higher and higher mass resolution, using data recorded at the previous level to account for the matter inflow and the tidal field from outside matter. The code is parallelized using OpenMP. We present a validation test to evaluate the robustness of the method: the pancake collapse. We apply this new multizoom method to study the accretion properties. Zooming in onto galaxies from a cosmological simulation, we select a sample of 10 well resolved galaxies (5000 baryonic particles or more). We sum up their basic properties and plot a Tully-Fisher relation. We find that smooth accretion of intergalactic cold gas dominates mergers for the mass growth of galaxies at z < 2. Next we study the baryonic accretion rate which shows different behaviours depending on the galaxy mass. The bias is also computed at different radii and epochs. Then we present galactocentric angular maps for the accretion integrated between z=2 and z=0, which reveal that accretion is highly anisotropic. Average accretion rates plotted against galactocentric latitude show a variety of behaviours. In general, accretion in the galactic plane is favored, even more for baryonic matter than for dark matter.

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