Document Type


Publication Date



We introduce a set of high-resolution dissipationless simulations that model the Local Group (LG) in a cosmological context: Exploring the Local Volume in Simulations (ELVIS). The suite contains 48 Galaxy-size haloes, each within high-resolution volumes that span 2-5 Mpc in size, and each resolving thousands of systems with masses below the atomic cooling limit. Half of the ELVIS galaxy haloes are in paired configurations similar to the Milky Way (MW) and M31; the other half are isolated, mass-matched analogues. We find no difference in the abundance or kinematics of substructure within the virial radii of isolated versus paired hosts. On Mpc scales, however, LG-like pairs average almost twice as many companions and the velocity field is kinematically hotter and more complex. We present a refined abundance matching relation between stellar mass and halo mass that reproduces the observed satellite stellar mass functions of the MW and M31 down to the regime where incompleteness is an issue, M-* similar to 5 x 10(5) M-circle dot. Within a larger region spanning approximately 3 Mpc, the same relation predicts that there should be similar to 1000 galaxies with M-* > 10(3) M-circle dot awaiting discovery. We show that up to 50 per cent of haloes within 1 Mpc of the MW or M31 could be systems that have previously been within the virial radius of either giant. By associating never accreted haloes with gas-rich dwarfs, we show that there are plausibly 50 undiscovered dwarf galaxies with H i masses > 10(5) M-circle dot within the local volume. The radial velocity distribution of these predicted gas-rich dwarfs can be used to inform follow-up searches based on ultracompact high-velocity clouds found in the ALFALFA survey.


This article was originally published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, volume 438, issue 3, in 2014. DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stt2377

Peer Reviewed



Oxford University Press



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.