Stellar and gaseous disc structures in cosmological galaxy equilibrium models

Ben Rathaus*, Amiel Sternberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We present 'radially resolved equilibrium models' for the growth of stellar and gaseous discs in cosmologically accreting massive haloes. Our focus is on objects that evolve to redshifts z ~ 2. We solve the time-dependent equations that govern the radially dependent star formation rates, inflows and outflows from and to the inter- and circumgalactic medium, and inward radial gas flows within the discs. The stellar and gaseous discs reach equilibrium configurations on dynamical time-scales much shorter than variations in the cosmological dark matter halo growth and baryonic accretions rates. We show analytically that mass and global angular momentum conservation naturally give rise to exponential gas and stellar discs over many radial length-scales. As expected, the gaseous discs are more extended as set by the condition Toomre Q < 1 for star formation. The discs rapidly become baryon dominated. For massive, 5 × 1012 M haloes at redshift z = 2, we reproduced the typical observed star formation rates of ~100 M yr-1, stellar masses ~9 × 1010 M, gas contents ~1011 M, half-mass sizes of 4.5 and 5.8 kpc for the stars and gas, and characteristic surface densities of 500 and 400 M pc-2 for the stars and gas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3168-3180
Number of pages13
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 8 Mar 2016


  • Galaxies: Evolution
  • Galaxies: Formation
  • Galaxies: Structure


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