Galactic accretion interacts in complex ways with gaseous halos, including galactic winds. As a result, observational diagnostics typically probe a range of intertwined physical phenomena. Because of this complexity, cosmological hydrodynamic simulations have played a key role in developing observational diagnostics of galactic accretion. In this chapter, we review the status of different observational diagnostics of circum-galactic gas flows, in both absorption (galaxy pair and down-the-barrel observations in neutral hydrogen and metals; kinematic and azimuthal angle diagnostics; the cosmological column density distribution; and metallicity) and emission (Lyα; UV metal lines; and diffuse X-rays). We conclude that there is no simple and robust way to identify galactic accretion in individual measurements. Rather, progress in testing galactic accretion models is likely to come from systematic, statistical comparisons of simulation predictions with observations. We discuss specific areas where progress is likely to be particularly fruitful over the next few years.
Gas Accretion onto Galaxies
- Pub Date:
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
- Invited review to appear in Gas Accretion onto Galaxies, Astrophysics and Space Science Library, eds. A. J. Fox &