A new approach for simulating galaxy cluster properties

Y. Arieli*, Y. Rephaeli, M. L. Norman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe a subgrid model for including galaxies into hydrodynamical cosmological simulations of galaxy cluster evolution. Each galaxy construct-or galcon-is modeled as a physically extended object within which star formation, galactic winds, and ram pressure stripping of gas are modeled analytically. Galcons are initialized at high redshift (z-3) after galaxy dark matter halos have formed but before the cluster has virialized. Each galcon moves self-consistently within the evolving cluster potential and injects mass, metals, and energy into intracluster (IC) gas through a well-resolved spherical interface layer. We have implemented galcons into the Enzo adaptive mesh refinement code and carried out a simulation of cluster formation in a ACDM universe. With our approach, we are able to economically follow the impact of a large number of galaxies on IC gas. We compare the results of the galcon simulation with a second, more standard simulation where star formation and feedback are treated using a popular heuristic prescription. One advantage of the galcon approach is explicit control over the star formation history of cluster galaxies. Using a galactic SFR derived from the cosmic star formation density, we find the galcon simulation produces a lower stellar fraction, a larger gas core radius, a more isothermal temperature profile, and a flatter metallicity gradient than the standard simulation, in better agreement with observations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L111-L114
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 2
StatePublished - 2008


  • Galaxies: Clusters: general
  • Methods: Numerical


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