We are currently producing high-resolution magneto-hydrodynamics simulations of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxy embedded in their local cosmic environment within the context of the HESTIA project. This project employs the Auriga galaxy formation model of the Arepo code, which accounts for a large number of physical processes “sub-grid” such as black hole growth, star formation and various forms of feedback. The project has been awarded 30 million computing hours on the SUPERMUC machine at LRZ/Garching. We will produce nested suites of constrained simulations with increasing resolution to understand the effects of our cosmic environment on the formation of the Local Group: starting with some 500 low-resolution simulations, we select the best systems for resimulation at progressively higher resolution, in order to arrive at the golden five simulations at very-high resolution (Mcell ∼ 105 M).

This project enables us to address many scientific question ranging from galactic (chemo-)dynamics, to properties of Local-group dwarf satellites, to the growth of the Galactic magnetic field and how it affects the propagation of ultra high-energy cosmic rays. Comparison to the sample of 30 simulated Auriga galaxies, which have been selected to form in isolation, allows addressing the effect of the Andromeda galaxy and the Local-group environment on properties of the simulated Milky Way galaxy and its satellite system. This project is expected to provide am excellent data base for comparison to current and future observations (Gaia, RAVE, APOGEE, 4MOST, …).

Lead investigators (in alphabetic order):

  • Tobias Buck (AIP), Christina Chiapinni (AIP), Arianna Di Cintio (Tenerife), Edoardo Carlesi (AIP), Facundo Gomez (ULS), Stefan Gottloeber (AIP), Peng Wang (AIP), Rob Grand (MPA), Yehuda Hoffman (Jerusalem), Alexander Knebe (UAM), Noam Libeskind (PI, AIP), Federico Marinacci (Bologna) , Ivan Minchev (AIP), Rüdiger Pakmor (MPA), Christoph Pfrommer (AIP), Martin Sparre (AIP), Volker Springel (MPA), Matthias Steinmetz (AIP), Elmo Tempel (Tartu), Mark Vogelsberger (MIT), Gustavo Yepes (UAM)