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!
We are excited to announce the release of our synthetic Gaia DR2-like surveys from our Latte suite of FIRE-2 cosmological simulations of Milky Way-mass galaxies. We generated 9 synthetic surveys from 3 different simulations, using 3 solar viewpoints per simulation. Along with these synthetic surveys, we also released full simulation snapshots at z = 0, including all particle data, from the 3 Latte simulations. All data is available at ananke.hub.yt, and the paper that describes our methods is Sanderson et al 2018.
Congratulations to Robyn Sanderson for leading this ambitious effort, including developing our new Ananke framework for generating synthetic surveys from baryonic simulations. Thanks to Kacper Kowalik and Matt Turk for tremendous help in hosting this data via the awesome girder.hub.yt.
We hope that these cosmological synthetic Gaia DR2-like surveys will provide useful tools to the scientific community in interpreting the amazing data of the Milky Way from the Gaia satellite mission.