Black Hole Growth and Feedback in Isolated ROMULUS25 Dwarf Galaxies

Ray S. Sharma, Alyson M. Brooks, Rachel S. Somerville, Michael Tremmel, Jillian Bellovary, Anna C. Wright, Thomas R. Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We investigate the effects of massive black hole growth on the structural evolution of dwarf galaxies within the Romulus25 cosmological hydrodynamical simulation. We study a sample of 205 central, isolated dwarf galaxies with stellar masses and a central BH. We find that the local M BH-M star relation exhibits a high degree of scatter below M star < 1010 M o˙, which we use to classify BHs as overmassive or undermassive relative to their host M star. Within isolated dwarf galaxies, only 8% of undermassive BHs ever undergo a BH merger, while 95% of overmassive BHs grow through a mixture of BH mergers and accretion. We find that isolated dwarf galaxies that host overmassive BHs also follow different evolutionary tracks relative to their undermassive BH counterparts, building up their stars and dark matter earlier and experiencing star formation suppression starting around z = 2. By z = 0.05, overmassive BH hosts above M star > 109 M o˙ are more likely to exhibit lower central stellar mass density, lower H i gas content, and lower star formation rates than their undermassive BH counterparts. Our results suggest that overmassive BHs in isolated galaxies above M star > 109 M o˙ are capable of driving feedback, in many cases suppressing and even quenching star formation by late times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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