The connection between mass, environment and slow rotation in simulated galaxies [GA]

Recent observational results from integral field spectroscopic (IFS) surveys indicate that the fraction of galaxies that are slow rotators, $F_{\rm SR}$, depends primarily on stellar mass, with no significant dependence on environment. We investigate these trends and the formation paths of slow rotators using the EAGLE and Hydrangea hydro-dynamical simulation suites. EAGLE consists of several cosmological boxes of volumes up to $(100\,\rm Mpc)^3$, while Hydrangea consists of $24$ cosmological zoom-in simulations of galaxy clusters and their large scale environment. Together they provide a statistically significant sample in the stellar mass range of interest, $10^{9.5}\,\rm M_{\odot}-10^{12}\,\rm M_{\odot}$, of $16,431$ galaxies. We construct IFS-like cubes and measure stellar spin parameters, $\lambda_{\rm R}$, and ellipticities, allowing us to classify galaxies into slow and fast rotators as in observations. The simulated galaxies display a primary dependence of $F_{\rm SR}$ on stellar mass, with a weak dependence on environment. At fixed stellar mass, satellite galaxies are more likely to be slow rotators than centrals. In addition, $F_{\rm SR}$ shows a dependence on halo mass at fixed stellar mass for central galaxies, while no such trend is seen for satellites. We find that $\approx 70$% of slow rotators at $z=0$ have experienced at least one merger with mass ratio $\ge 0.1$, with dry major mergers being at least twice more common than minor and wet major mergers in this population. Individual dry mergers tend to decrease $\lambda_{\rm R}$, while wet mergers mostly increase it. However, $30$% of slow rotators at $z=0$ have not experienced mergers, and those inhabit halos with median spins twice smaller than the halos hosting the rest of the slow rotators. Thus, although the formation paths of slow rotators can be varied, dry major mergers and/or halos with small spins dominate.

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C. Lagos, J. Schaye, Y. Bahe, et. al.
Wed, 6 Dec 17

Comments: 19 pages, 16 main body, 2 appendix. Submitted to MNRAS. Comments are welcome