Properties of barred spiral disks in hydrodynamical cosmological simulations [GA]

We present a quantification of the properties of bars in two N-body+SPH cosmological simulations of spiral galaxies, named GA and AqC. The initial conditions were obtained using the zoom-in technique and represent two dark matter (DM) halos of $2-3\times10^{12}\ {\rm M}_\odot$, available at two different resolutions. The resulting galaxies are presented in the companion paper of Murante et al. (2014). We find that the GA galaxy has a bar of length $8.8$ kpc, present at the two resolution levels even though with a slightly different strength. Classical bar signatures (e.g. pattern of streaming motions, high $m=2$ Fourier mode with roughly constant phase) are consistently found at both resolutions. Though a close encounter with a merging satellite at $z\sim0.6$ (mass ratio $1:50$) causes a strong, transient spiral pattern and some heating of the disk, we find that bar instability is due to secular process, caused by a low Toomre parameter $Q\lesssim1$ due to accumulation of mass in the disk. The AqC galaxy has a slightly different history: it suffers a similar tidal disturbance due to a merging satellite at $z\sim0.5$ but with a mass ratio of $1:32$, that triggers a bar in the high-resolution simulation, while at low resolution the merging is found to take place at a later time, so that both secular evolution and merging are plausible triggers for bar instability.

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G. David, P. Monaco, G. Murante, et. al.
Wed, 10 Dec 14

Comments: 15 pages, 18 figures, MNRAS accepted