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Title: A Fundamental Test for Galaxy Formation Models: Matching the Lyman-α Absorption Profiles of Galactic Halos Over Three Decades in Distance

Abstract

Galaxy formation depends critically on the physical state of gas in the circumgalactic medium (CGM) and its interface with the intergalactic medium (IGM), determined by the complex interplay between inflow from the IGM and outflows from supernovae and/or AGN feedback. The average Lyα absorption profile around galactic halos represents a powerful tool to probe their gaseous environments. We compare predictions from Illustris and Nyx hydrodynamical simulations with the observed absorption around foreground quasars, damped Lyα systems, and Lyman-break galaxies. We show how large-scale BOSS and small-scale quasar pair measurements can be combined to precisely constrain the absorption profile over three decades in transverse distance 20 kpc ≲ b ≲ 20 Mpc. Far from galaxies, ≲ 2 Mpc, the simulations converge to the same profile and provide a reasonable match to the observations. This asymptotic agreement arises because the ΛCDM model successfully describes the ambient IGM and represents a critical advantage of studying the mean absorption profile. However, significant differences between the simulations, and between simulations and observations, are present on scales 20 kpc ≲ b ≲ 20 Mpc, illustrating the challenges of accurately modeling and resolving galaxy formation physics. It is noteworthy that these differences are observed as far outmore » as ~2 Mpc, indicating that the "sphere of influence" of galaxies could extend to approximately ~7 times the halo virial radius. Current observations are very precise on these scales and can thus strongly discriminate between different galaxy formation models. We demonstrate that the Lyα absorption profile is primarily sensitive to the underlying temperature-density relationship of diffuse gas around galaxies, and argue that it thus provides a fundamental test of galaxy formation models.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [4]
  1. Max-Planck-Inst. für Astronomie, Heidelberg (Germany); Univ. of Heidelberg, Heidelberg (Germany). International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Cosmic Physics
  2. Max-Planck-Inst. für Astronomie, Heidelberg (Germany); Univ. of Edinburgh, Scotland (United Kingdom). Scottish Univ. Physics Alliance (SUPA), Inst. for Astronomy
  3. Max-Planck-Inst. für Astronomie, Heidelberg (Germany); Univ. of California, San Diego, CA (United States). Dept. of Physics
  4. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP)
OSTI Identifier:
1493258
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: The Astrophysical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 859; 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; cosmology: miscellaneous; galaxies: halos; intergalactic medium; methods: numerical; quasars: absorption lines

Citation Formats

Sorini, Daniele, Oñorbe, José, Hennawi, Joseph F., and Lukić, Zarija. A Fundamental Test for Galaxy Formation Models: Matching the Lyman-α Absorption Profiles of Galactic Halos Over Three Decades in Distance. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aabb52.
Sorini, Daniele, Oñorbe, José, Hennawi, Joseph F., & Lukić, Zarija. A Fundamental Test for Galaxy Formation Models: Matching the Lyman-α Absorption Profiles of Galactic Halos Over Three Decades in Distance. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aabb52.
Sorini, Daniele, Oñorbe, José, Hennawi, Joseph F., and Lukić, Zarija. Wed . "A Fundamental Test for Galaxy Formation Models: Matching the Lyman-α Absorption Profiles of Galactic Halos Over Three Decades in Distance". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aabb52. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1493258.
@article{osti_1493258,
title = {A Fundamental Test for Galaxy Formation Models: Matching the Lyman-α Absorption Profiles of Galactic Halos Over Three Decades in Distance},
author = {Sorini, Daniele and Oñorbe, José and Hennawi, Joseph F. and Lukić, Zarija},
abstractNote = {Galaxy formation depends critically on the physical state of gas in the circumgalactic medium (CGM) and its interface with the intergalactic medium (IGM), determined by the complex interplay between inflow from the IGM and outflows from supernovae and/or AGN feedback. The average Lyα absorption profile around galactic halos represents a powerful tool to probe their gaseous environments. We compare predictions from Illustris and Nyx hydrodynamical simulations with the observed absorption around foreground quasars, damped Lyα systems, and Lyman-break galaxies. We show how large-scale BOSS and small-scale quasar pair measurements can be combined to precisely constrain the absorption profile over three decades in transverse distance 20 kpc ≲ b ≲ 20 Mpc. Far from galaxies, ≲ 2 Mpc, the simulations converge to the same profile and provide a reasonable match to the observations. This asymptotic agreement arises because the ΛCDM model successfully describes the ambient IGM and represents a critical advantage of studying the mean absorption profile. However, significant differences between the simulations, and between simulations and observations, are present on scales 20 kpc ≲ b ≲ 20 Mpc, illustrating the challenges of accurately modeling and resolving galaxy formation physics. It is noteworthy that these differences are observed as far out as ~2 Mpc, indicating that the "sphere of influence" of galaxies could extend to approximately ~7 times the halo virial radius. Current observations are very precise on these scales and can thus strongly discriminate between different galaxy formation models. We demonstrate that the Lyα absorption profile is primarily sensitive to the underlying temperature-density relationship of diffuse gas around galaxies, and argue that it thus provides a fundamental test of galaxy formation models.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/aabb52},
journal = {The Astrophysical Journal (Online)},
number = 2,
volume = 859,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {5}
}

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  • Rahmati, Alireza; Schaye, Joop; Pawlik, Andreas H.
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Planck 2015 results : XXIII. The thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect-cosmic infrared background correlation
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The physical properties of the Lyα forest at
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The Varied Fates of z ∼ 2 Star‐forming Galaxies
journal, June 2008

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A Direct Precision Measurement of the Intergalactic Lyα Opacity at 2 ≤ z ≤ 4.2
journal, July 2008

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  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 681, Issue 2
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magicc haloes: confronting simulations with observations of the circumgalactic medium at z=0: magicc haloes
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Cosmological galaxy formation simulations using smoothed particle hydrodynamics: MUGS
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A New Parallel N-Body Gravity Solver: TPM
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  • Xu, Guohong
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New constraints on the free-streaming of warm dark matter from intermediate and small scale Lyman- α forest data
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On the (Non)Evolution of h i gas in Galaxies over Cosmic time
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Absorption-line systems in simulated galaxies fed by cold streams: ALSs in simulated galaxies
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  • Fumagalli, Michele; Prochaska, J. Xavier; Kasen, Daniel
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 418, Issue 3
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Galactic Wind Effects on the Lyα Absorption in the Vicinity of Galaxies
journal, February 2006

  • Kollmeier, Juna A.; Miralda‐Escude, Jordi; Cen, Renyue
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 638, Issue 1
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A comparison of observed and simulated absorption from H i, C iv, and Si iv around z ≈ 2 star-forming galaxies suggests redshift–space distortions are due to inflows
journal, June 2017

  • Turner, Monica L.; Schaye, Joop; Crain, Robert A.
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 471, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx1616

The impact of galactic feedback on the circumgalactic medium
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  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu2762

Metal-enriched, subkiloparsec gas clumps in the circumgalactic medium of a faint z = 2.5 galaxy★
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  • Crighton, Neil H. M.; Hennawi, Joseph F.; Simcoe, Robert A.
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  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stu2088

A Simple Model for Quasar Demographics
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Gas around galaxy haloes – II. Hydrogen absorption signatures from the environments of galaxies at redshifts 2 <  z  < 3
journal, August 2015

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First results from the IllustrisTNG simulations: the stellar mass content of groups and clusters of galaxies
journal, December 2017

  • Pillepich, Annalisa; Nelson, Dylan; Hernquist, Lars
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 475, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx3112

DISSECTING THE GASEOUS HALOS OF z ∼ 2 DAMPED Ly α SYSTEMS WITH CLOSE QUASAR PAIRS
journal, July 2015

  • Rubin, Kate H. R.; Hennawi, Joseph F.; Prochaska, J. Xavier
  • The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 808, Issue 1
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A study of six low-redshift quasar pairs: A study of six low redshift QSO pairs
journal, June 2011


Metal-line absorption around z ≈ 2.4 star-forming galaxies in the Keck Baryonic Structure Survey★
journal, September 2014

  • Turner, Monica L.; Schaye, Joop; Steidel, Charles C.
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Damped Lyman α absorbers as a probe of stellar feedback
journal, October 2014

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The EAGLE project: simulating the evolution and assembly of galaxies and their environments
journal, November 2014

  • Schaye, Joop; Crain, Robert A.; Bower, Richard G.
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The EAGLE simulations: atomic hydrogen associated with galaxies
journal, October 2016

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A DEFINITIVE SURVEY FOR LYMAN LIMIT SYSTEMS AT z ∼ 3.5 WITH THE SLOAN DIGITAL SKY SURVEY
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CONFRONTING SIMULATIONS OF OPTICALLY THICK GAS IN MASSIVE HALOS WITH OBSERVATIONS AT z = 2-3
journal, December 2013

  • Fumagalli, Michele; Hennawi, Joseph F.; Prochaska, J. Xavier
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The Cos-Halos Survey: Rationale, Design, and a Census of Circumgalactic Neutral Hydrogen
journal, October 2013

  • Tumlinson, Jason; Thom, Christopher; Werk, Jessica K.
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On the evolution of the H i column density distribution in cosmological simulations
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  • Rahmati, Alireza; Pawlik, Andreas H.; Raičevic̀, Milan
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On the cool gaseous haloes of quasars★
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A stellar feedback origin for neutral hydrogen in high-redshift quasar-mass haloes
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QUASARS PROBING QUASARS. VIII. THE PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF THE COOL CIRCUMGALACTIC MEDIUM SURROUNDING z ∼ 2–3 MASSIVE GALAXIES HOSTING QUASARS
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Fundamental differences between SPH and grid methods: Simulating fluids using SPH and grid techniques
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The nature and origin of low-redshift O vi absorbers
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How to zoom: bias, contamination and Lagrange volumes in multimass cosmological simulations
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Stellar and Total Baryon mass Fractions in Groups and Clusters Since Redshift 1
journal, September 2009


A unified model for AGN feedback in cosmological simulations of structure formation: AGN feedback in cosmological simulations
journal, August 2007

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THE CIRCUMGALACTIC MEDIUM OF MASSIVE GALAXIES AT z ∼ 3: A TEST FOR STELLAR FEEDBACK, GALACTIC OUTFLOWS, AND COLD STREAMS
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Introducing the Illustris Project: simulating the coevolution of dark and visible matter in the Universe
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Introducing the Illustris project: the evolution of galaxy populations across cosmic time
journal, September 2014

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Toy models for galaxy formation versus simulations
journal, August 2013

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Observations of Chemically Enriched QSO Absorbers near z ∼2.3 Galaxies: Galaxy Formation Feedback Signatures in the Intergalactic Medium
journal, February 2006

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Constraining primordial magnetism
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Physical Models of Galaxy Formation in a Cosmological Framework
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The Ninth data Release of the Sloan Digital sky Survey: First Spectroscopic data from the Sdss-Iii Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey
journal, November 2012

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Constraints on the correlation between QSO luminosity and host halo mass from high-redshift quasar clustering
journal, November 2008


Nyx: A MASSIVELY PARALLEL AMR CODE FOR COMPUTATIONAL COSMOLOGY
journal, February 2013


    Works referencing / citing this record:

    The role of galaxies and AGN in reionizing the IGM – I. Keck spectroscopy of 5 < z < 7 galaxies in the QSO field J1148+5251
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    The role of galaxies and AGN in reionizing the IGM – I. Keck spectroscopy of 5 < z < 7 galaxies in the QSO field J1148+5251
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    Quantitative Constraints on the Reionization History from the IGM Damping Wing Signature in Two Quasars at z > 7
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    Mapping Quasar Light Echoes in 3D with Ly α Forest Tomography
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    • Schmidt, Tobias M.; Hennawi, Joseph F.; Lee, Khee-Gan
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