A high fidelity Milky Way simulation with Kraken, Gaia-Enceladus, and Sequoia analogues: clues to their accretion histories

García-Bethencourt, Guacimara; Brook, Chris B.; Grand, Robert J. J.; Kawata, Daisuke
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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Within a simulated Milky Way-like galaxy, we identify and analyse analogues of the Gaia-Enceladus (GE), Kraken, and Sequoia mergers that each matches remarkably well observational results, including in velocity and chemical abundance space, and their distributions in the jz-Energy plane. The Kraken analogue is the earliest merger and has the highest total mass ratio. Consistent with previous studies, it is chemically indistinguishable from old in situ stars at the time of its accretion. The GE and Sequoia analogue events accrete at similar times in our simulation, both along filaments but from opposite sides of the main galaxy. The mean stellar ages of the GE and Sequoia analogues are both similar and, from our simulation results, we see that they can be separate entities and still naturally reproduce the observed properties of their stellar remnants at the present day, including the significant retrograde velocities of the Sequoia analogue remnant stars and the difference in the tracks of the two galaxies through chemical abundance space. Our results provide supporting information about the properties of these three merger events, and show for the first time that they can all be reproduced with a fully cosmological simulation, providing a possible self-consistent evolutionary pathway for the Milky Way's formation.
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