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Title: Using Real and Simulated Measurements of the Thermal Sunyaev–Zel’dovich Effect to Constrain Models of AGN Feedback

Abstract

Energetic feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGNs) is often used in simulations to resolve several outstanding issues in galaxy formation, but its impact is still not fully understood. Here, we derive new constraints on AGN feedback by comparing observations and simulations of the thermal Sunyaev–Zel'dovich (tSZ) effect. We draw on previous observational results that used data from the South Pole Telescope (SPT) and Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) to measure the tSZ signal from ≥10 11 M and ≥1 Gyr galaxies at z = 0.5–1.0 (low-z) and z = 1.0–1.5 (high-z). Using the large-scale cosmological hydrodynamical simulations Horizon-AGN and Horizon-NoAGN, which include and omit AGN feedback, we extract simulated tSZ measurements around galaxies equivalent to the observational work. We find that the Horizon-AGN results only differ from the SPT measurements at levels of 0.4σ (low-z) and 0.6σ (high-z), but differ from the ACT measurements by 3.4σ (low-z) and 2.3σ (high-z). The Horizon-noAGN results provide a slightly better fit to the SPT measurements by differing by 0.2σ (low-z) and 0.4σ (high-z), but are a significantly better match to the ACT measurements by differing by only 0.5σ (low-z) and 1.4σ (high-z). Finally, we conclude that, while the lower-mass ($$\lesssim$$5 × 10 11 M ) SPT results allow for the presence AGN feedback energy, the higher-mass ($$\gtrsim$$ 5 × 10 11 M ) ACT results show significantly less energy than predicted in the simulation including AGN feedback, while more closely matching the simulation without AGN feedback, indicating that AGN feedback may be milder than often predicted in simulations.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [5]
  1. Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States). School of Earth and Space Exploration; Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Univ. of Oxford (United Kingdom). Sub-dept. of Astrophysics; American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY (United States). Astrophysics Dept.
  3. Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States). School of Earth and Space Exploration
  4. Univ. of Oxford (United Kingdom). Sub-dept. of Astrophysics
  5. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris (France). Inst. d'Astrophysique de Paris
  6. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris (France). Inst. d'Astrophysique de Paris; Université Côte d'Azur, Nice (France). Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
National Science Foundation (NSF); USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1479982
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-30403
Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396; AST14-07835
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: The Astrophysical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 865; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; Astronomy and Astrophysics

Citation Formats

Spacek, Alexander, Richardson, Mark L. A., Scannapieco, Evan, Devriendt, Julien, Dubois, Yohan, Peirani, Sebastien, and Pichon, Christophe. Using Real and Simulated Measurements of the Thermal Sunyaev–Zel’dovich Effect to Constrain Models of AGN Feedback. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aada01.
Spacek, Alexander, Richardson, Mark L. A., Scannapieco, Evan, Devriendt, Julien, Dubois, Yohan, Peirani, Sebastien, & Pichon, Christophe. Using Real and Simulated Measurements of the Thermal Sunyaev–Zel’dovich Effect to Constrain Models of AGN Feedback. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aada01.
Spacek, Alexander, Richardson, Mark L. A., Scannapieco, Evan, Devriendt, Julien, Dubois, Yohan, Peirani, Sebastien, and Pichon, Christophe. Thu . "Using Real and Simulated Measurements of the Thermal Sunyaev–Zel’dovich Effect to Constrain Models of AGN Feedback". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aada01. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1479982.
@article{osti_1479982,
title = {Using Real and Simulated Measurements of the Thermal Sunyaev–Zel’dovich Effect to Constrain Models of AGN Feedback},
author = {Spacek, Alexander and Richardson, Mark L. A. and Scannapieco, Evan and Devriendt, Julien and Dubois, Yohan and Peirani, Sebastien and Pichon, Christophe},
abstractNote = {Energetic feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGNs) is often used in simulations to resolve several outstanding issues in galaxy formation, but its impact is still not fully understood. Here, we derive new constraints on AGN feedback by comparing observations and simulations of the thermal Sunyaev–Zel'dovich (tSZ) effect. We draw on previous observational results that used data from the South Pole Telescope (SPT) and Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) to measure the tSZ signal from ≥1011 M ⊙ and ≥1 Gyr galaxies at z = 0.5–1.0 (low-z) and z = 1.0–1.5 (high-z). Using the large-scale cosmological hydrodynamical simulations Horizon-AGN and Horizon-NoAGN, which include and omit AGN feedback, we extract simulated tSZ measurements around galaxies equivalent to the observational work. We find that the Horizon-AGN results only differ from the SPT measurements at levels of 0.4σ (low-z) and 0.6σ (high-z), but differ from the ACT measurements by 3.4σ (low-z) and 2.3σ (high-z). The Horizon-noAGN results provide a slightly better fit to the SPT measurements by differing by 0.2σ (low-z) and 0.4σ (high-z), but are a significantly better match to the ACT measurements by differing by only 0.5σ (low-z) and 1.4σ (high-z). Finally, we conclude that, while the lower-mass ($\lesssim$5 × 1011 M ⊙) SPT results allow for the presence AGN feedback energy, the higher-mass ($\gtrsim$ 5 × 1011 M ⊙) ACT results show significantly less energy than predicted in the simulation including AGN feedback, while more closely matching the simulation without AGN feedback, indicating that AGN feedback may be milder than often predicted in simulations.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/aada01},
journal = {The Astrophysical Journal (Online)},
number = 2,
volume = 865,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {9}
}

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