Diagnosing galactic feedback with line broadening in the low redshift Lyα forest

Viel, Matteo and Haehnelt, Martin G. and Bolton, James S. and Kim, Tae-Sun and Puchwein, Ewald and Nasir, Fahad and Wakker, Bart P. (2017) Diagnosing galactic feedback with line broadening in the low redshift Lyα forest. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 467 (1). L86-L90. ISSN 1365-2966

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Abstract

We compare the low-redshift (z 0.1) Lyα forest from hydrodynamical simulations with data from the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph. We find the tension between the observed number of lines with b-parameters in the range of 25–45 km s−1 and the predictions from simulations that incorporate either vigorous feedback from active galactic nuclei or that exclude feedback altogether. The gas in these simulations is, respectively, either too hot to contribute to the Lyα absorption or too cold to produce the required linewidths. Matching the observed b parameter distribution therefore requires feedback processes that thermally or turbulently broaden the absorption features without collisionally (over)ionizing hydrogen. This suggests that the Lyα forest b-parameter distribution is a valuable diagnostic of galactic feedback in the low-redshift Universe. We furthermore confirm that the low-redshift Lyα forest column density distribution is better reproduced by an ultraviolet background with the H I photoionization rate a factor of 1.5–3 higher than predicted by Haardt and Madau.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2017 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Keywords: methods: numerical, intergalactic medium, quasars: absorption lines, diffuse radiation, large-scale structure of Universe
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Physics and Astronomy
Identification Number: 10.1093/mnrasl/slx004
Depositing User: Bolton, James
Date Deposited: 05 May 2017 12:28
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 00:48
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/42519

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