The most commonly used definition of halo formation is the time when the most massive progenitor of a halo first contains at least half the final mass of its parent. Reasonably accurate formulae for the distribution of formation times of haloes of fixed mass have been available for some time. We use numerical simulations of hierarchical gravitational clustering to test the accuracy of formulae for the mass at formation. We also derive and test a formula for the joint distribution of formation masses and times. The structure of a halo is expected to be related to its accretion history. Our tests show that our formulae for formation masses and times are reasonably accurate, so we expect that they will aid future analytical studies of halo structure.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Pub Date:
- April 2004
- galaxies: clusters: general;
- cosmology: theory;
- dark matter;
- 5 pages, 5 figures, MNRAS, in press