Reconciling Dwarf Galaxies with LCDM Cosmology

Tue, Apr 5, 2016 at 1:00 pm

131 Campbell Hall

Andrew Wetzel (Caltech/Carnegie)


Low-mass "dwarf" galaxies trace structure formation on the smallest cosmological scales and represent the most significant challenges to the cold dark matter (CDM) model. Because these faintest galaxies are (best) observed only within the Local Group of the Milky Way (MW) and Andromeda (M31), it is critical to understand and model their formation within the environment of a MW-mass host. I will introduce the Latte Project, a new suite of cosmological zoom-in baryonic simulations that model the formation of Milky Way-mass galaxies at parsec-scale resolution, using the FIRE (Feedback in Realistic Environments) model for star formation and stellar feedback. These simulations self-consistently resolve the satellite dwarf galaxy populations that forms around the Milky Way-mass hosts, including the relevant physics to model their stellar populations. I will present first results from Latte, emphasizing the impacts of (internal) stellar feedback and (external) environment on the star formation histories, stellar kinematics, and chemical enrichment histories of dwarf galaxies, addressing long-standing "missing satellites", "too-big-to-fail", and "core-cusp" problems of CDM cosmology.