Using the EAGLE silations to elucidate the origin of disc surface brightness profile breaks as a function of mass and environment

Joel L. Pfeffer, Kenji Bekki, Duncan A. Forbes, Warrick J. Couch, Bärbel S. Koribalski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


We analyse the surface brightness profiles of disc-type galaxies in the Evolution and Assembly of GaLaxies and their Environment (EAGLE) silations in order to investigate the effects of galaxy mass and environment on galaxy profile types. Following observational works, we classify the silated galaxies by their disc surface brightness profiles into single exponential (Type I), truncated (Type II), and antitruncated (Type III) profiles. In agreement with previous observation and theoretical work, we find that Type II discs result from truncated star-foing discs that drive radial gradients in the stellar populations. In contrast, Type III profiles result from galaxy mergers, extended star-foing discs or the late foation of a steeper, inner disc. We find that the EAGLE silations qualitatively reproduce the observed trends found between profile type frequency and galaxy mass, morphology and environment, such as the fraction of Type III galaxies increasing with galaxy mass, and the fraction of Type II galaxies increasing with Hubble type. We investigate the lower incidence of Type II galaxies in galaxy clusters, finding, in a striking similarity to observed galaxies, that almost no S0-like galaxies in clusters have Type II profiles. Similarly, the fraction of Type II profiles for disc-dominated galaxies in clusters is significantly decreased relative to field galaxies. This difference between field and cluster galaxies is driven by star foation quenching. Following the cessation of star foation upon entering a galaxy cluster, the young stellar populations of Type II galaxies simply fade, leaving behind Type I galaxies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-271
Number of pages11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


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