Context. Galaxies are surrounded by extended gaseous halos that store significant fractions of chemical elements. These are syntethized by the stellar populations and later ejected into the circumgalactic medium (CGM) by different mechanism, of which supernova feedback is considered one of the most relevant.
Aims: We aim to explore the properties of this metal reservoir surrounding star-forming galaxies in a cosmological context aiming to investigate the chemical loop between galaxies and their CGM, and the ability of the subgrid models to reproduce observational results.
Methods: Using cosmological hydrodynamical simulations, we have analysed the gas-phase chemical contents of galaxies with stellar masses in the range 109-1011 M⊙. We estimated the fractions of metals stored in the different CGM phases, and the predicted O VI and Si III column densities within the virial radius.
Results: We find roughly 107 M⊙ of oxygen in the CGM of simulated galaxies having M⋆ 1010 M⊙, in fair agreement with the lower limits imposed by observations. The Moxy is found to correlate with M⋆, at odds with current observational trends but in agreement with other numerical results. The estimated profiles of O VI column density reveal a substantial shortage of that ion, whereas Si III, which probes the cool phase, is overpredicted. Nevertheless, the radial dependences of both ions follow the respective observed profiles. The analysis of the relative contributions of both ions from the hot, warm and cool phases suggests that the warm gas (105 K < T < 106 K) should be more abundant in order to bridge the mismatch with the observations, or alternatively, that more metals should be stored in this gas-phase. These discrepancies provide important information to improve the subgrid physics models. Our findings show clearly the importance of tracking more than one chemical element and the difficulty of simultaneously satisfying the observables that trace the circumgalactic gas at different physical conditions. Additionally, we find that the X-ray coronae around the simulated galaxies have luminosities and temperatures in decent agreement with the available observational estimates.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- January 2018
- galaxies: halos;
- galaxies: evolution;
- intergalactic medium;
- galaxies: ISM;
- methods: numerical;
- X-rays: galaxies;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
- 15 pages, 15 figures, accepted for publication in A&