Modeling Evolution of Galactic Bars at Cosmic Dawn

Da Bi, Isaac Shlosman, Emilio Romano-Díaz

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11 Scopus citations


We study the evolution of galactic bars using a suite of very high-resolution zoom-in cosmological simulations of galaxies at z ∼ 9-2. Our models were chosen to lie within similar-mass dark matter (DM) halos, log(M vir/M ) ∼ 11.65 ± 0.05, at z = 6, 4, and 2, in high- and low-overdensity environments. We apply two galactic wind feedback mechanisms for each model. All galaxies develop subkiloparsec stellar bars differing in their properties. We find that (1) the high-z bars form in response to various perturbations: mergers, close flybys, cold accretion inflows along the cosmological filaments, etc.; (2) these bars account for the large mass fraction of galaxies; (3) bars display large corotation-to-bar size ratios, are weaker compared to their low-redshift counterparts by measuring their Fourier amplitudes, and are very gas-rich; (4) their pattern speed does not exhibit monotonic decline with time owing to braking against DM, as at low z; (5) bar properties, including their stellar population (star formation rates and metal enrichment), depend sensitively on prevailing feedback; and (6) bars can weaken substantially during cosmological evolution, becoming weak oval distortions—hence bars are destroyed and reformed multiple times, unlike their low-z counterparts. In all cases, bars in our simulations have been triggered by interactions. In summary, not only do stellar bars appear to be a contemporary phenomenon, but based on increased frequency of mergers, flybys, and the strength of cold accretion flows at high z, we also expect them to be ubiquitous at redshifts ≳2—the epoch of rapid galaxy growth and larger stellar dispersion velocities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number52
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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