First Light And Reionization Epoch Simulations (FLARES) - I. Environmental dependence of high-redshift galaxy evolution

Christopher Lovell, Aswin Vijayan, Peter A. Thomas, Stephen M. Wilkins, David Barnes, Dimitrios Irodotou, Will Roper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We introduce the First Light And Reionisation Epoch Simulations (FLARES), a suite of zoom simulations using the EAGLE model. We resimulate a range of over densities during the Epoch of Reionization (EoR) in order to build composite distribution functions, as well as explore the environmental dependence of galaxy formation and evolution during this critical period of galaxy assembly. The regions are selected from a large (3.2cGpc)3 parent volume, based on their over density within a sphere of radius 14 h−1 cMpc. We then resimulate with full hydrodynamics, and employ a novel weighting scheme that allows the construction of composite distribution functions that are representative of the full parent volume. This significantly extends the dynamic range compared to smaller volume periodic simulations. We present an analysis of the galaxy stellar mass function (GSMF), the star formation rate distribution function (SFRF), and the star-forming sequence (SFS) predicted by FLARES, and compare to a number of observational and model constraints. We also analyse the environmental dependence over an unprecedented range of over density. Both the GSMF and the SFRF exhibit a clear double-Schechter form, up to the highest redshifts (z = 10). We also find no environmental dependence of the SFS normalization. The increased dynamic range probed by FLARES will allow us to make predictions for a number of large area surveys that will probe the EoR in coming years, carried out on new observatories such as Roman and Euclid.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2127–2145
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Early online date29 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


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