Panchromatic Simulated Galaxy Observations from the NIHAO Project

Nicholas Faucher, Michael R. Blanton, Andrea V. Macciò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present simulated galaxy spectral energy distributions (SEDs) from the far-ultraviolet (FUV) through the far-infrared (FIR), created using hydrodynamic simulations and radiative transfer calculations, suitable for the validation of SED modeling techniques. SED modeling is an essential tool for inferring star formation histories from nearby galaxy observations, but it is fraught with difficulty due to our incomplete understanding of stellar populations, chemical enrichment processes, and the nonlinear, geometry-dependent effects of dust on our observations. Our simulated SEDs will allow us to assess the accuracy of these inferences against galaxies with known ground truth. To create the SEDs, we use simulated galaxies from the Numerical Investigation of Hundred Astrophysical Objects suite and the radiative transfer code Stellar Kinematics Including Radiative Transfer. We explore different subgrid post-processing recipes, using color distributions and their dependence on axis ratios of galaxies in the nearby Universe to tune and validate them. We find that subgrid post-processing recipes that mitigate limitations in the temporal and spatial resolution of the simulations are required for producing FUV to FIR photometry that statistically reproduce the colors of galaxies in the nearby Universe. With this paper, we release resolved photometry and spatially integrated spectra for our sample galaxies, each from a range of different viewing angles. Our simulations predict that there is a large variation in attenuation laws among galaxies, and that from any particular viewing angle that energy balance between dust attenuation and re-emission can be violated by up to a factor of 3. These features are likely to affect SED modeling accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Panchromatic Simulated Galaxy Observations from the NIHAO Project'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this