The First Galaxies: Assembly Under Radiative Feedback From The First Stars

Pawlik, Andreas H.
Milosavljevic, Milos
Bromm, Volker
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We investigate how radiative feedback from the first stars affects the assembly of the first dwarf galaxies. To this end, we perform cosmological zoomed smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations of a dwarf galaxy assembling inside a halo reaching a virial mass similar to 10(9) M-circle dot at z = 10. The simulations follow the non-equilibrium chemistry and cooling of primordial gas and the subsequent conversion of the cool dense gas into massive metal-free stars. To quantify the radiative feedback, we compare a simulation in which stars emit both molecular hydrogen dissociating and hydrogen/helium ionizing radiation with a simulation in which stars emit only molecular hydrogen dissociating radiation, and further with a simulation in which stars remain dark. Photodissociation and photoionization exert a strong negative feedback on the assembly of the galaxy inside the main minihalo progenitor. Gas condensation is strongly impeded, and star formation is strongly suppressed in comparison with the simulation in which stars remain dark. The feedback on the gas from either dissociating or ionizing radiation implies a suppression of the central dark matter densities in the minihalo progenitor by factors of up to a few, which is a significant deviation from the singular isothermal density profile characterizing the dark matter distribution inside the virial radius in the absence of radiative feedback. The evolution of gas densities, star formation rates, and the distribution of dark matter becomes insensitive to the inclusion of dissociating radiation in the late stages of the minihalo assembly, and it becomes insensitive to the inclusion of ionizing radiation once the minihalo turns into an atomically cooling galaxy. The formation of a rotationally supported extended disk inside the dwarf galaxy is a robust outcome of our simulations not affected by the inclusion of radiation. Low-mass galaxies in the neighborhood of the dwarf galaxy show a large scatter in the baryon fraction which is driven by radiative feedback from sources both internal and external to these galaxies. Our estimates of the observability of the first galaxies show that dwarf galaxies such as simulated here will be among the faintest galaxies the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope will detect. Our conclusions regarding the structure and observability of the first galaxies are subject to our neglect of feedback from supernovae and chemical enrichment as well as to statistical uncertainties implied by the limited number of galaxies in our simulations.

Pawlik, Andreas H., Miloレ Milosavljevi?, and Volker Bromm. "The first galaxies: assembly under radiative feedback from the first stars." The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 767, No. 1 (Apr., 2013): 59.