Photometric properties of reionization-epoch galaxies in the Simba simulations

Xiaohan Wu, Romeel Davé, Sandro Tacchella, Jennifer Lotz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We study the photometric properties and sizes of the reionization-epoch galaxies in high-resolution Simba cosmological hydrodynamical simulations with box sizes of [25, 50]h−1Mpc. Assuming various attenuation laws, we compute photometry by extincting each star particle’s spectrum using the line-of-sight gas metal column density. The predicted ultraviolet luminosity function (UVLF) generally agrees with observations at z = 6, owing to a partial cancellation between the high metallicities of the simulated galaxies and lower dust-to-metal ratios. The simulated z = 8 UVLF is low compared to observations, likely owing to excessive dust extinction. Simba predicts UV continuum slopes (β) in agreement with the z = 6 observations, with the best agreement obtained using a Calzetti extinction law. Interestingly, the gas-phase mass-metallicity relation in Simba is higher at z ∼ 6 than at z ∼ 2, suggesting that rapid early enrichment (and dust growth) might be necessary to match the observed β. We find that β is more sensitive to the dust extinction law than the UVLF. By generating mock James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) images and analysing in a manner similar to observations, we show that Simba’s galaxy size–luminosity relation well reproduces the current z = 6 Hubble observations. Unlike observations at lower redshifts, Simba predicts similar rest-UV and rest-optical sizes of z = 6 galaxies, owing to weak age gradients and dust extinction in star-forming regions counteract each other to weaken the color gradients within galaxies. These predictions will be testable with JWST.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5636-5651
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Early online date15 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • astro-ph.GA
  • astro-ph.CO


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