We analyse the mass, temperature, metal enrichment, and OVI abundance of the circumgalactic medium (CGM) around z ∼ 0.2 galaxies of mass 109 M☉ < M* < 1011.5 M☉ in the Illustris simulation. Among star-forming galaxies, the mass, temperature, and metallicity of the CGM increase with stellar mass, driving an increase in the OVI column-density profile of ∼0.5 dex with each 0.5 dex increase in stellar mass. Observed OVI column-density profiles exhibit a weaker mass dependence than predicted; the simulated OVI abundance profiles are consistent with those observed for star-forming galaxies of mass M* = 1010.5-11.5 M☉, but underpredict the observed OVI abundances by ≳0.8 dex for lower mass galaxies. We suggest that this discrepancy may be alleviated with additional heating of the abundant cool gas in low-mass haloes, or with increased numerical resolution capturing turbulent/conductive mixing layers between CGM phases. Quenched galaxies of mass M* = 1010.5-11.5 M☉ are found to have 0.3-0.8 dex lower OVI column-density profiles than star-forming galaxies of the same mass, in qualitative agreement with the observed OVI abundance bimodality. This offset is driven by AGN feedback, which quenches galaxies by heating the CGM and ejecting significant amounts of gas from the halo. Finally, we find that the inclusion of the central-galaxy's radiation field may enhance the photoionization of the CGM within ∼50 kpc, further increasing the predicted OVI abundance around star-forming galaxies.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Pub Date:
- March 2017
- galaxies: formation;
- intergalactic medium;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- Submitted to MNRAS. 18 pages, 16 figures