NIHAO - XXIII. Dark matter density shaped by black hole feedback

Andrea V. Macciò, Samuele Crespi, Marvin Blank, Xi Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a systematic analysis of the reaction of dark matter distribution to galaxy formation across more than eight orders of magnitude in stellar mass. We extend the previous work presented in the NIHAO-IV paper by adding 46 new high-resolution simulations of massive galaxies performed with the inclusion of black hole feedback. We show that outflows generated by the active galactic nucleus (AGN) are able to partially counteract the dark matter contraction due to the large central stellar component in massive haloes. The net effect is to relax the central dark matter distribution that moves to a less cuspy density profiles at halo mass larger than ≈3 × 1012 M⊙. The scatter around the mean value of the density profile slope (α) is fairly constant (Δα ≈ 0.3), with the exception of galaxies with halo masses around 1012 M⊙, at the transition from stellar to AGN feedback dominated systems, where the scatter increases by almost a factor of 3. We provide useful fitting formulae for the slope of the dark matter density profiles at few per cent of the virial radius for the whole stellar mass range: 105-1012 M⊙ (2 × 109 to 5 × 1013 M⊙ in halo mass).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-50
Number of pages5
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Cosmology: theory
  • Dark matter
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
  • Methods: numerical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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