Tidal Stripping in the Adiabatic Limit

Jens Stücker, Go Ogiya, Raul E. Angulo, Alejandra Aguirre-Santaella, Miguel A. Sánchez-Conde

Submitted on 1 July 2022


We present a model for the remnants of haloes that have gone through an adiabatic tidal stripping process. We show that this model exactly reproduces the remnant of an NFW halo that is exposed to a slowly increasing isotropic tidal field and approximately for an anisotropic tidal field. The model can be used to predict the asymptotic mass loss limit for orbiting subhaloes, solely as a function of the initial structure of the subhalo and the value of the tidal field at pericentre. Predictions can easily be made for differently concentrated host-haloes with and without baryonic components, which differ most notably in their relation between pericentre radius and tidal field. The model correctly predicts several empirically measured relations such as the `tidal track' and the `orbital frequency relation' that was reported by Errani & Navarro (2021) for the case of an isothermal sphere. Further, we discover the `structure-tide' degeneracy which implies that increasing the concentration of a subhalo has exactly the same impact on tidal stripping as reducing the amplitude of the tidal field. Beyond this, we find that simple relations hold for the bound mass, truncation radius, WIMP annihilation luminosity and tidal ratio of tidally stripped NFW haloes in relation to quantities measured at the radius of maximum circular velocity. Finally, we note that NFW haloes cannot be completely disrupted when exposed adiabatically to tidal fields of arbitrary magnitudes. We provide an open-source implementation of our model and suggest that it can be used to improve predictions of dark matter annihilation.


Comment: 30 pages, 19 figures, submitted to MNRAS, comments welcome, code publicly available under

Subjects: Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics; Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies