Context. A significant fraction of the predicted baryons remain undetected in the local Universe. We adopted the common assumption that a large fraction of the missing baryons correspond to the hot (log T(K) = 5.5-7) phase of the warm-hot intergalactic medium (WHIM). We base our missing baryons search on the scenario whereby the WHIM has been heated up via accretion shocks and galactic outflows, and it is concentrated towards the filaments of the cosmic web.
Aims: Our aim is to improve the observational search for the poorly detected hot WHIM.
Methods: We detected the filamentary structure within the EAGLE hydrodynamical simulation by applying the Bisous formalism to the galaxy distribution. To test the reliability of our results, we used the MMF/NEXUS+ classification of the large-scale environment of the dark matter component in EAGLE. We then studied the spatio-thermal distribution of the hot baryons within the extracted filaments.
Results: While the filaments occupy only ≈5% of the full simulation volume, the diffuse hot intergalactic medium in filaments amounts to ≈23%-25% of the total baryon budget, or ≈79%-87% of all the hot WHIM. The optimal filament sample, with a missing baryon mass fraction of ≈82%, is obtained by selecting Bisous filaments with a high galaxy luminosity density. For these filaments, we derived analytic formulae for the radial gas density and temperature profiles, consistent with recent Planck Sunyaev-Zeldovich and cosmic microwave background lensing observations within the central r ≈ 1 Mpc.
Conclusions: Results from the EAGLE simulation suggest that the missing baryons are strongly concentrated towards the filament axes. Since the filament finding methods used here are applicable to galaxy surveys, a large fraction of the missing baryons can be localised by focusing the observational efforts on the central ∼1 Mpc regions of the filaments. To optimise the observational signal, it is beneficial to focus on the filaments with the highest galaxy luminosity densities detected in the optical data.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- February 2021
- large-scale structure of Universe;
- intergalactic medium;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
- 22 pages, 16 figures, accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics (A&