Brightest cluster galaxies in cosmological simulations with adaptive mesh refinement: Successes and failures

Davide Martizzi, Jimmy, Romain Teyssier, Ben Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


A large sample of cosmological hydrodynamical zoom-in simulations with adaptive mesh refinement is analysed to study the properties of simulated brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs). Following the formation and evolution of BCGs requires modelling an entire galaxy cluster, because the BCG properties are largely influenced by the state of the gas in the cluster and by interactions and mergers with satellites. BCG evolution is also deeply influenced by the presence of gas heating sources such as Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) that prevent catastrophic cooling of large amounts of gas. We show that AGN feedback is one of the most important mechanisms in shaping the properties of BCGs at low redshift by analysing our statistical sample of simulations with and without AGN feedback. When AGN feedback is included BCG masses, sizes, star formation rates and kinematic properties are closer to those of the observed systems. Some small discrepancies are observed only for the most massive BCGs and in the fraction of star-forming BCGs, effects that might be due to physical processes that are not included in our model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1500-1508
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • %cosmology: theory
  • Black hole physics
  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Large-scale structure of Universe
  • methods: numerical


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