The impact of dark satellites on dwarf galaxies in a ΛCDM universe

Tjitske Karen Starkenburg

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

967 Downloads (Pure)


The structure in our Universe is thought to have formed in a hierarchical fashion. This means that galaxies, from small to large, grow through accretion, and through interactions and mergers with other galaxies. Within the concordance LCDM (Lambda cold dark matter) cosmological framework, galaxies are embedded in dark matter halos, but the vast majority of the smallest halos have likely been unable to host a galaxy. Detecting these small, star-less but very numerous halos is very important as it may provide novel clues to the nature of the dark matter, and may be possible through their gravitational effects on luminous matter.
In this Thesis, I present a suite of simulations studying the effects of dark satellites on dwarf galaxies. We find that these interactions can lead to the formation of irregular, starbursting, and spheroidal systems. Furthermore, we characterize the effects of the dark satellites quantitatively through morphological and kinematical indicators to aid their observational identification. Our models predict that a significant fraction of the dwarf galaxies at the present day likely has recently experienced such an interaction. Therefore, interactions with smaller dark matter halos may well contribute to the diversity of the dwarf galaxy population.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Helmi, Amina, Supervisor
Award date24-Jun-2016
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-8958-5
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-8958-5
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Cite this