The specifics of how galaxies form from, and are fuelled by, gas from the intergalactic medium remain uncertain. Hydrodynamic simulations suggest that ' cold accretion flows' - relatively cool (temperatures of the order of 104 kelvin), unshocked gas streaming along filaments of the cosmic web into dark-matter halos1-3 - are important. These flows are thought to deposit gas and angular momentum into the circumgalactic medium, creating disk- or ring-like structures that eventually coalesce into galaxies that form at filamentary intersections4,5. Recently, a large and luminous filament, consistent with such a cold accretion flow, was discovered near the quasi-stellar object QSO UM287 at redshift 2.279 using narrow-band imaging6. Unfortunately, imaging is not sufficient to constrain the physical characteristics of the filament, to determine its kinematics, to explain how it is linked to nearby sources, or to account for its unusual brightness, more than a factor of ten above what is expected for a filament. Here we report a two-dimensional spectroscopic investigation of the emitting structure. We find that the brightest emission region is an extended rotating hydrogen disk with a velocity profile that is characteristic of gas in a dark-matter halo with a mass of 1013 solar masses. This giant protogalactic disk appears to be connected to a quiescent filament that may extend beyond the virial radius of the halo. The geometry is strongly suggestive of a cold accretion flow.

Martin, D., Matuszewski, M., Morrissey, P., Neill, J., Moore, A., Cantalupo, S., et al. (2015). A giant protogalactic disk linked to the cosmic web. NATURE, 524(7564), 192-195 [10.1038/nature14616].

A giant protogalactic disk linked to the cosmic web

Cantalupo S.;
2015

Abstract

The specifics of how galaxies form from, and are fuelled by, gas from the intergalactic medium remain uncertain. Hydrodynamic simulations suggest that ' cold accretion flows' - relatively cool (temperatures of the order of 104 kelvin), unshocked gas streaming along filaments of the cosmic web into dark-matter halos1-3 - are important. These flows are thought to deposit gas and angular momentum into the circumgalactic medium, creating disk- or ring-like structures that eventually coalesce into galaxies that form at filamentary intersections4,5. Recently, a large and luminous filament, consistent with such a cold accretion flow, was discovered near the quasi-stellar object QSO UM287 at redshift 2.279 using narrow-band imaging6. Unfortunately, imaging is not sufficient to constrain the physical characteristics of the filament, to determine its kinematics, to explain how it is linked to nearby sources, or to account for its unusual brightness, more than a factor of ten above what is expected for a filament. Here we report a two-dimensional spectroscopic investigation of the emitting structure. We find that the brightest emission region is an extended rotating hydrogen disk with a velocity profile that is characteristic of gas in a dark-matter halo with a mass of 1013 solar masses. This giant protogalactic disk appears to be connected to a quiescent filament that may extend beyond the virial radius of the halo. The geometry is strongly suggestive of a cold accretion flow.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
intergalactic medium - galaxy formation - quasars
English
192
195
4
Martin, D., Matuszewski, M., Morrissey, P., Neill, J., Moore, A., Cantalupo, S., et al. (2015). A giant protogalactic disk linked to the cosmic web. NATURE, 524(7564), 192-195 [10.1038/nature14616].
Martin, D; Matuszewski, M; Morrissey, P; Neill, J; Moore, A; Cantalupo, S; Prochaska, J; Chang, D
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/297353
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