AAS 206th Meeting, 29 May - 2 June 2005
Session 13 Spiral Galaxies, Elliptical Galaxies
Poster, Monday, 9:20am-6:30pm, Tuesday, 10:00am-7:00pm, May 30, 2005, Ballroom A

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[13.06] Thick Disk Formation in a Lambda CDM Cosmology

A.M. Brooks (U Washington), F. Governato (Observatorio Astronomico di Brera)

Results are presented of thick disk formation in a multi-million particle simulation created by the U Washington's "N-body Shop" with sub-kpc resolution. This simulation forms a realistic disk galaxy in a fully cosmological (Lambda CDM) context. Observational evidence suggests that merging makes the main contribution to the formation of a thick disk, but the question of whether mergers contribute directly to thick disk material or dynamically heat a pre-existing thin disk remains. The evolution of the disk in this simulation is free of numerical effects. We incorporate a realistic star formation and feedback recipe that reproduces a galaxy luminosity function in agreement with observations. We find that fewer than 10% of stars in the disk at the current epoch have been accreted from other satellite halos in the last ~9 Gyr. Since other simulations have previously overproduced low mass halos, they have been unable to accurately explore the contribution of mergers to thick disk formation at any epoch.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #2
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.