Comparing galactic satellite properties in hydrodynamical and N-body simulations

Jascha A. Schewtschenko, Andrea V. Macciò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this work, we examine the different properties of galactic satellites in hydrodynamical and pure dark matter simulations. We use three pairs of simulations (collisional and collisionless) starting from identical initial conditions. We concentrate our analysis on pairs of satellites in the hydro and N-body runs that form from the same Lagrangian region. We look at the radial positions, mass-loss as a function of time and orbital parameters of these 'twin' satellites. We confirm an overall higher radial density of satellites in the hydrodynamical runs, but find that trends in the mass-loss and radial position of these satellites in the inner and outer region of the parent halo differ from the pure dark matter case. In the outskirts of the halo (≈70 per cent of the virial radius), satellites experience a stronger mass-loss and higher dynamical friction in pure dark matter runs. The situation is reversed in the central region of the halo, where hydrodynamical satellites have smaller apocentre distances and suffer higher mass stripping. We partially ascribe this bimodal behaviour to the delayed infall time for hydro satellites, which on average cross the virial radius of the parent halo 0.7Gyr after their dark matter twins. Finally, we briefly discuss the implications of the different set of satellite orbital parameters and mass-loss rates in hydrodynamical simulations within the context of thin-disc heating and destruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)878-886
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Galaxies: haloes
  • Galaxies: structure
  • Gravitation
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Methods: numerical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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