Jenna Samuel awarded NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship

Jenna Samuel

Jenna Samuel, our group’s first graduating PhD student, has been awarded an NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Science Foundation! Jenna will take this fellowship to the Department of Astronomy at the University of Texas, Austin this fall to pursue her project: Modeling the physics of gas removal and quenching in Local Group satellite galaxies with next-generation simulations. Congratulations Jenna!

first student-led paper from our group: radial distribution of satellite galaxies

Radial distribution of satellite galaxies around MW-mass hosts in the FIRE simulations, as compared with the MW and M31

Excited to announce the first student-led paper from our group, led by PhD student Jenna Samuel: A profile in FIRE: resolving the radial distributions of satellite dwarf galaxies in the Local Group with simulations. Jenna examined the radial distribution of satellite galaxies around MW/M31-mass hosts in our FIRE simulations, which she showed are consistent with the Local Group. The satellites of MW-like galaxies from the SAGA survey have 2D radial profiles that are similar to our simulations too. Interestingly, more massive host galaxies have fewer satellites at small distances, which is caused by tidal destruction from the central galaxy. Jenna also quantified the destruction of subhalos by comparing our baryonic simulations to their dark matter-only versions, finding 10x destruction within the inner 20 kpc. Finally, Jenna applied approximations of observational completeness in the LG to our simulations, predicting that there may be 2-10 satellites with stellar mass > 10^5 Msun to be discovered around the MW, and 6-9 around M31. Congratulations to Jenna for such a good first paper!