Hydro-cosmological simulations reveal that massive galaxies at high redshift are fed by long narrow streams of merging galaxies and a smoother component of cold gas. We post-process seven high-resolution simulated galaxies with radiative transfer to study the absorption characteristics of the gas in galaxies and streams, in comparison with the statistics of observed absorption-line systems. We find that much of the stream gas is ionized by UV radiation from background and local stellar sources, but still optically thick ( cm-2) so that the streams appear as Lyman-limit systems (LLSs). At z > 3, the fraction of neutral gas in streams becomes non-negligible, giving rise to damped Lyman α absorbers (DLAs) as well. The gas in the central and incoming galaxies remains mostly neutral, responsible for DLAs. Within one (two) virial radii, the covering factor of optically thick gas is <25percent (10percent) for LLSs and <5percent (1percent) for DLAs, slowly declining with time following the universal expansion. Nevertheless, galaxies and their cold streams in the studied mass range, Mvir= 1010-1012 M⊙, account for >30percent of the observed absorbers in the foreground of quasars, the rest possibly arising from smaller galaxies or the intergalactic medium. The mean metallicity in the streams is ~1percent solar, much lower than in the galaxies. The simulated galaxies reproduce the Lyα-absorption equivalent widths observed around Lyman-break galaxies, but they severely underpredict the equivalent widths in metal lines, suggesting that the latter may arise from outflows. We conclude that the observed metal-poor LLSs are likely detections of the predicted cold streams. Revised analysis of the observed LLSs kinematics and simulations with more massive outflows in conjunction with the inflows may enable a clearer distinction between the signatures of the various gas modes. © 2011 The Authors Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2011 RAS.

Fumagalli, M., Prochaska, J., Kasen, D., Dekel, A., Ceverino, D., & Primack, J. (2011). Absorption-line systems in simulated galaxies fed by cold streams. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 418(3), 1796-1821 [10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19599.x].

Absorption-line systems in simulated galaxies fed by cold streams

Fumagalli M.;
2011

Abstract

Hydro-cosmological simulations reveal that massive galaxies at high redshift are fed by long narrow streams of merging galaxies and a smoother component of cold gas. We post-process seven high-resolution simulated galaxies with radiative transfer to study the absorption characteristics of the gas in galaxies and streams, in comparison with the statistics of observed absorption-line systems. We find that much of the stream gas is ionized by UV radiation from background and local stellar sources, but still optically thick ( cm-2) so that the streams appear as Lyman-limit systems (LLSs). At z > 3, the fraction of neutral gas in streams becomes non-negligible, giving rise to damped Lyman α absorbers (DLAs) as well. The gas in the central and incoming galaxies remains mostly neutral, responsible for DLAs. Within one (two) virial radii, the covering factor of optically thick gas is <25percent (10percent) for LLSs and <5percent (1percent) for DLAs, slowly declining with time following the universal expansion. Nevertheless, galaxies and their cold streams in the studied mass range, Mvir= 1010-1012 M⊙, account for >30percent of the observed absorbers in the foreground of quasars, the rest possibly arising from smaller galaxies or the intergalactic medium. The mean metallicity in the streams is ~1percent solar, much lower than in the galaxies. The simulated galaxies reproduce the Lyα-absorption equivalent widths observed around Lyman-break galaxies, but they severely underpredict the equivalent widths in metal lines, suggesting that the latter may arise from outflows. We conclude that the observed metal-poor LLSs are likely detections of the predicted cold streams. Revised analysis of the observed LLSs kinematics and simulations with more massive outflows in conjunction with the inflows may enable a clearer distinction between the signatures of the various gas modes. © 2011 The Authors Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2011 RAS.
Si
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Scientifica
Galaxies: evolution; Galaxies: formation; Galaxies: high-redshift; Intergalactic medium; Quasars: absorption lines; Radiative transfer;
English
1796
1821
26
Fumagalli, M., Prochaska, J., Kasen, D., Dekel, A., Ceverino, D., & Primack, J. (2011). Absorption-line systems in simulated galaxies fed by cold streams. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 418(3), 1796-1821 [10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19599.x].
Fumagalli, M; Prochaska, J; Kasen, D; Dekel, A; Ceverino, D; Primack, J
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10281/297848
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