Slow galaxy growth within rapidly growing dark matter halos

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    In cold dark matter cosmologies, the most massive dark matter halos undergo rapid growth between a redshift of z = 1 and z = 0, corresponding to the past 7 billion years of cosmic time. There is thus an expectation that the stellar masses of the most massive galaxies will also rapidly grow via merging over this redshift range. While there are examples of massive merging galaxies at low redshift, recent observations show that the stellar masses of massive galaxies have grown by only ∼30% since z = 1. Some of the literature claims that the slow growth of massive galaxies is contrary to the ΛCDM paradigm, although this is not necessarily the case. To determine why massive galaxies are not growing rapidly, we have modeled how galaxies populate dark matter halos. To do this, we have measured the space density and spatial clustering of redshift z<1 galaxies in the Booütes field of the NOAO Deep Wide-Field Survey. We have then modeled the observations using the halo occupation distribution (HOD) formalism. We find that the stellar masses of the largest galaxies are proportional to dark matter halo mass to the power of a third. In the most massive dark matter halos, we also find that the stellar mass is distributed mostly among "satellite" galaxies. As a consequence, the stellar masses of large galaxies are expected to increase relatively slowly, even though they reside within rapidly growing dark matter halos.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Dark Side of the Universe - 5th International Workshop on The Dark Side of the Universe, DSU09
    Number of pages7
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    EventInternational Workshop on the Dark Side of The Universe (DSU) 2009 - Melbourne, Australia
    Duration: 1 Jun 20095 Jun 2009
    Conference number: 5th


    ConferenceInternational Workshop on the Dark Side of The Universe (DSU) 2009
    Abbreviated titleDSU 2009


    • Dark matter
    • ElUptical galaxies
    • Lenticular (SO) galaxies
    • Origin & evolution of galaxies

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