Institute of Astronomy

The coupling between the core/cusp and missing satellite problems

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Sergey Koposov (University of Cambridge)26 October 2012Institute of Astronomy Galaxies Discussion Group


We calculate the energy that baryons must inject in cold dark matter (CDM) haloes in order to remove centrally-divergent DM cusps on scales relevant to observations of dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSphs). We estimate that the CDM haloes often associated with the Milky Way's dSphs (M_vir \sim 10^9-10^) require \Delta(E) \sim 10^53-55^ erg in order to form cores on scales comparable to the luminous size of these galaxies. While supernova type II (SNeII) explosions can in principle generate this energy, the actual contribution is limited by the low star formation efficiency implied by the abundance of luminous satellites. Considering that CDM's well-known `core/cusp' and `missing satellite' problems place opposing demands on star formation efficiencies, existing observational evidences for large cores in the most luminous dSphs require that CDM models invoke some combination of the following: (i) efficient (of order unity) coupling of SNeII energy into dark matter particles, (ii) star formation histories peaking at unexpectedly high redshifts (z>6), (iii) a top-heavy stellar IMF, and/or (iv) substantial satellite disruption or other stochastic effects to ease the substructure abundance constraints. Our models show that the tension between CDM problems on small scales would increase if cored DM profiles were to be found in fainter dwarves.

Based on Penarrubia, Ponzen, Walker, Koposov (2012) arXiv:1207.2772


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