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Can galaxy outflows and re-accretion produce the downsizing in specific star formation rate of late-type galaxies?

Authors
  • Firmani, C.
  • Avila-Reese, V.
  • Rodriguez-Puebla, A.
Type
Published Article
Publication Date
Jan 18, 2010
Submission Date
Sep 28, 2009
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16366.x
Source
arXiv
License
Yellow
External links

Abstract

The observations show that less massive the galaxies are, the higher on average is their specific star formation rate (SSFR = SFR/Ms, Ms is the stellar mass). Such a trend, called the 'SSFR downsizing' (SSFR-DS) phenomenon, is seen for local and high-z (back to z~1-2) galaxy samples. We use observational data related only to disc galaxies and explore the average SSFR change with z for different masses. For Ms in the range ~10^9.5-10^10.5 Msun, the SSFR increases with (1+z) to a power that barely depends on Ms, and at all z's smaller galaxies have ever higher SSFRs. The latter strongly disagree with the LCDM hierarchical mass accretion rates. By means of self-consistent models of disc galaxy evolution inside growing LCDM halos, the effects that disc feedback-driven outflows and gas re-accretion have on the galaxy SSFR histories are explored. The parameters of the outflow and re-accretion schemes are tuned to reproduce the z~0 Mh-Ms relation inferred from observations. In the case of outflows only, the SSFR of individual model galaxies is roughly proportional to (1+z)^2.2 for all the masses with a normalization factor that depends on mass as Ms^0.1, i.e more massive galaxies have slightly larger SSFRs, contrary to the observed strong SSFR-DS trend. For the re-accretion cases, the dependence on z remains approximately the same as without re-infall, but the correlation on Ms even increases for most of the reasonable values of the model parameters. The comparison of models and observations in the SSFR-Ms plane at z~0 shows the divergent trend in SSFR as lower are the masses (upsizing vs downsizing). We explain why the models show the reported trends, and conclude that the SSFR-DS for low-mass galaxies poses a challenge for LCDM-based disc galaxy evolution models. (Abridged)

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