AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 100. Galaxy Evolution and Surveys: Miscellaneous
Oral, Wednesday, January 8, 2003, 10:00-11:30am, 613-614

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[100.03] Dynamical Evolution of Galaxy Disks in CDM models

A. Font, J. Navarro (University of Victoria), T. Quinn (University of Washington), J. Stadel (University of Zurich)

A long lasting problem in our understanding of the evolution of disk galaxies is the question of how stellar disks respond to encounters with the numerous dark matter sub-halos predicted by the Cold Dark Matter cosmology. We address this issue through a set of high resolution numerical simulations that include a realistic distribution of satellites (with masses and orbital parameters as predicted by CDM models), orbiting around a typical stellar disk, like the Milky Way's. This is the first numerical study to account for the interactions of multiple satellites with a disk within the full cosmological context. The primary conclusion of our study is that the disk is able to survive in this violent environment for several Gyrs, thus weakening the argument calling for a revision of the CDM paradigm. The only visible adjustments made by the disk to the incoming satellites are through the (angular momentum conserving) tilting, and through changes in the kinematical properties of the stars: minor vertical disk heating, flaring and warping. Changes in the disk structure are driven mainly by a few massive satellites rather than by the cumulative effect of many minor mergers.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
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