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Stellar Feedback in Dwarf Galaxy Formation

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Science  11 Jan 2008:
Vol. 319, Issue 5860, pp. 174-177
DOI: 10.1126/science.1148666

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Abstract

Dwarf galaxies pose substantial challenges for cosmological models. In particular, current models predict a dark-matter density that is divergent at the center, which is in sharp contrast with observations that indicate a core of roughly constant density. Energy feedback, from supernova explosions and stellar winds, has been proposed as a major factor shaping the evolution of dwarf galaxies. We present detailed cosmological simulations with sufficient resolution both to model the relevant physical processes and to directly assess the impact of stellar feedback on observable properties of dwarf galaxies. We show that feedback drives large-scale, bulk motions of the interstellar gas, resulting in substantial gravitational potential fluctuations and a consequent reduction in the central matter density, bringing the theoretical predictions in agreement with observations.

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