The Illustris simulation: Supermassive black hole-galaxy connection beyond the bulge

Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil, Marc S. Seigar, Ian B. Hewitt, Patrick Treuthardt, Joel C. Berrier, Lauren E. Koval

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We study the spiral arm morphology of a sample of the local spiral galaxies in the Illustris simulation and explore the supermassive black hole-galaxy connection beyond the bulge (e.g. spiral arm pitch angle, total stellar mass, dark matter mass, and total halo mass), finding good agreement with other theoretical studies and observational constraints. It is important to study the properties of supermassive black holes and their host galaxies through both observations and simulations and compare their results in order to understand their physics and formative histories. We find that Illustris prediction for supermassive black hole mass relative to pitch angle is in rather good agreement with observations and that barred and non-barred galaxies follow similar scaling relations. Our work shows that Illustris presents very tight correlations between supermassive black hole mass and large-scale properties of the host galaxy, not only for early-type galaxies but also for low-mass, blue and star-forming galaxies. These tight relations beyond the bulge suggest that halo properties determine those of a disc galaxy and its supermassive black hole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2594-2606
Number of pages13
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
BM-P andMSS wish to thank the generous support of the University of Minnesota, Duluth and the Fund for Astrophysical Research. We also wish to thank the anonymous referee whose comments greatly improved the content of this paper. We also thank Benjamin L. Davis for providing us the pitch angle measurements of Berrier et al. (2013). This research has made use of the Illustris data base. The Illustris project acknowledges support from many sources: support by the DFG Research Centre SFB-881 'The Milky Way System' through project A1, and by the European Research Council under ERC-StG EXAGAL-308037, support from the HST grants program, number HST-AR-12856.01-A, support for program #12856 by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555, support from NASA grant NNX12AC67G and NSF grant AST-1312095, support from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, NSF grant AST-0907969, and support from XSEDE grant AST-130032, which is supported by National Science Foundation grant number OCI-1053575. The Illustris simulation was run on the CURIE supercomputer at CEA/France as part of PRACE project RA0844, and the SuperMUC computer at the Leibniz Computing Centre, Germany, as part of project pr85je. Further simulations were run on the Harvard Odyssey and CfA/ITC clusters, the Ranger and Stampede supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center through XSEDE, and the Kraken supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory through XSEDE.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s).


  • Cosmology: theory
  • Galaxies: spiral
  • Galaxy: formation
  • Methods: numerical

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