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  Observing the stellar halo of Andromeda in cosmological simulations: the Auriga2PAndAS pipeline

Thomas, G. F., Martin, N. F., Fattahi, A., Ibata, R. A., Helly, J., McConnachie, A. W., et al. (2021). Observing the stellar halo of Andromeda in cosmological simulations: the Auriga2PAndAS pipeline. The Astrophysical Journal, 910(2): 92. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/abdfd2.

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Thomas, Guillaume F., Author
Martin, Nicolas F., Author
Fattahi, Azadeh, Author
Ibata, Rodrigo A., Author
Helly, John, Author
McConnachie, Alan W., Author
Frenk, Carlos, Author
Gómez, Facundo A., Author
Grand, Robert J. J.1, Author              
Gwyn, Stephen, Author
Mackey, Dougal, Author
Marinacci, Federico, Author
Pakmor, Rüdiger2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Galaxy Formation, Cosmology, MPI for Astrophysics, Max Planck Society, ou_159878              
2Stellar Astrophysics, MPI for Astrophysics, Max Planck Society, ou_159882              

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 Abstract: We present a direct comparison of the Pan-Andromeda Archaeological Survey (PAndAS) observations of the stellar halo of M31 with the stellar halos of six galaxies from the Auriga simulations. We process the simulated halos through the Auriga2PAndAS pipeline and create PAndAS-like mocks that fold in all observational limitations of the survey data (foreground contamination from the Milky Way stars, incompleteness of the stellar catalogs, photometric uncertainties, etc.). This allows us to study the survey data and the mocks in the same way and generate directly comparable density maps and radial density profiles. We show that the simulations are overall compatible with the observations. Nevertheless, some systematic differences exist, such as a preponderance for metal-rich stars in the mocks. While these differences could suggest that M31 had a different accretion history or has a different mass compared with the simulated systems, it is more likely a consequence of an underquenching of the star formation history of galaxies, related to the resolution of the Auriga simulations. The direct comparison enabled by our approach offers avenues to improve our understanding of galaxy formation as they can help pinpoint the observable differences between observations and simulations. Ideally, this approach will be further developed through an application to other stellar halo simulations. To facilitate this step, we release the pipeline to generate the mocks, along with the six mocks presented and used in this contribution.

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 Dates: 2021-03-30
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/abdfd2
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Title: The Astrophysical Journal
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Bristol; Vienna : IOP Publishing; IAEA
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 910 (2) Sequence Number: 92 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 0004-637X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922828215_3