A thermal-kinetic subgrid model for supernova feedback in simulations of galaxy formation
We present a subgrid model for supernova feedback designed for cosmological simulations of galaxy formation that may include a cold interstellar medium (ISM). The model uses thermal and kinetic channels of energy injection, which are built upon the stochastic kinetic and thermal models for stellar feedback used in the OWLS and EAGLE simulations, respectively. In the thermal channel, the energy is distributed statistically isotropically and injected stochastically in large amounts per event, which minimizes spurious radiative energy losses. In the kinetic channel, we inject the energy in small portions by kicking gas particles in pairs in opposite directions. The implementation of kinetic feedback is designed to conserve energy, linear and angular momentum, and is statistically isotropic. To test the model, we run simulations of isolated Milky Way-mass and dwarf galaxies, in which the gas is allowed to cool down to 10 K. Using the thermal and kinetic channels together, we obtain smooth star formation histories and powerful galactic winds with realistic mass loading factors. Furthermore, the model produces spatially resolved star formation rates (SFRs) and velocity dispersions that are in agreement with observations. We vary the numerical resolution by several orders of magnitude and find excellent convergence of the global SFRs and wind mass loading. We show that large thermal-energy injections generate a hot phase of the ISM and modulate the star formation by ejecting gas from the disc, while the low-energy kicks increase the turbulent velocity dispersion in the neutral ISM, which in turn helps suppress star formation.
- Pub Date:
- November 2022
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 23 pages, 17 figures (including appendix)