We study the formation of the intracluster light (ICL) using a semi-analytic model of galaxy formation, coupled to merger trees extracted from N-body simulations of groups and clusters. We assume that the ICL forms by (1) stellar stripping of satellite galaxies and (2) relaxation processes that take place during galaxy mergers. The fraction of ICL in groups and clusters predicted by our models ranges between 10 and 40 per cent, with a large halo-to-halo scatter and no halo mass dependence. We note, however, that our predicted ICL fractions depend on the resolution: for a set of simulations with particle mass one order of magnitude larger than that adopted in the high-resolution runs used in our study, we find that the predicted ICL fractions are 30-40 per cent larger than those found in the high-resolution runs. On cluster scale, large part of the scatter is due to a range of dynamical histories, while on smaller scale it is driven by individual accretion events and stripping of very massive satellites, M* ≳ 1010.5 M⊙, that we find to be the major contributors to the ICL. The ICL in our models forms very late (below z ˜ 1), and a fraction varying between 5 and 25 per cent of it has been accreted during the hierarchical growth of haloes. In agreement with recent observational measurements, we find the ICL to be made of stars covering a relatively large range of metallicity, with the bulk of them being subsolar.

On the formation and physical properties of the intracluster light in hierarchical galaxy formation models

CONTINI, EMANUELE;BORGANI, STEFANO
2014-01-01

Abstract

We study the formation of the intracluster light (ICL) using a semi-analytic model of galaxy formation, coupled to merger trees extracted from N-body simulations of groups and clusters. We assume that the ICL forms by (1) stellar stripping of satellite galaxies and (2) relaxation processes that take place during galaxy mergers. The fraction of ICL in groups and clusters predicted by our models ranges between 10 and 40 per cent, with a large halo-to-halo scatter and no halo mass dependence. We note, however, that our predicted ICL fractions depend on the resolution: for a set of simulations with particle mass one order of magnitude larger than that adopted in the high-resolution runs used in our study, we find that the predicted ICL fractions are 30-40 per cent larger than those found in the high-resolution runs. On cluster scale, large part of the scatter is due to a range of dynamical histories, while on smaller scale it is driven by individual accretion events and stripping of very massive satellites, M* ≳ 1010.5 M⊙, that we find to be the major contributors to the ICL. The ICL in our models forms very late (below z ˜ 1), and a fraction varying between 5 and 25 per cent of it has been accreted during the hierarchical growth of haloes. In agreement with recent observational measurements, we find the ICL to be made of stars covering a relatively large range of metallicity, with the bulk of them being subsolar.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2757762
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