The impact of baryons on dark matter haloes

Susana Pedrosa, Patricia B. Tissera, Cecilia Scannapieco

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


We analyse the dark matter (DM) distribution in an ≈ 1012 M halo extracted from a simulation consistent with the concordance cosmology, where the physics regulating the transformation of gas into stars was allowed to change producing galaxies with different morphologies. Although the DM profiles get more concentrated as baryons are collected at the centre of the haloes compared to a pure dynamical run, the total baryonic mass alone is not enough to fully predict the reaction of the DM profile. We also note that baryons affect the DM distribution even outside the central regions. Those systems where the transformation of gas into stars is regulated by supernova (SN) feedback, so that significant disc structures are able to form, are found to have more concentrated DM profiles than a galaxy which has efficiently transformed most of its baryons into stars at early times. The accretion of satellites is found to be associated with an expansion of the DM profiles, triggered by angular momentum transfer from the incoming satellites. As the impact of SN feedback increases, the satellites get less massive and are even strongly disrupted before getting close to the main structure causing less angular momentum transfer. Our findings suggest that the response of the DM halo is driven by the history of assembly of baryons into a galaxy along their merger tree.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L57-L61
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


  • Dark matter
  • Galaxies: haloes
  • Galaxies: structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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