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Strongly time-variable ultraviolet metal-line emission from the circum-galactic medium of high-redshift galaxies

Sravan, Niharika, Faucher-Giguère, Claude-André, van de Voort, Freeke, Kereš, Dušan, Muratov, Alexander L., Hopkins, Philip F., Feldmann, Robert, Quataert, Eliot and Murray, Norman 2016. Strongly time-variable ultraviolet metal-line emission from the circum-galactic medium of high-redshift galaxies. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 463 (1) , pp. 120-133. 10.1093/mnras/stw1962

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Abstract

We use cosmological simulations from the Feedback In Realistic Environments project, which implement a comprehensive set of stellar feedback processes, to study ultraviolet (UV) metal-line emission from the circum-galactic medium of high-redshift (z = 2–4) galaxies. Our simulations cover the halo mass range Mh ∼ 2 × 1011–8.5 × 1012 M⊙ at z = 2, representative of Lyman break galaxies. Of the transitions we analyse, the low-ionization C iii (977 Å) and Si iii (1207 Å) emission lines are the most luminous, with C iv (1548 Å) and Si iv (1394 Å) also showing interesting spatially extended structures. The more massive haloes are on average more UV-luminous. The UV metal-line emission from galactic haloes in our simulations arises primarily from collisionally ionized gas and is strongly time variable, with peak-to-trough variations of up to ∼2 dex. The peaks of UV metal-line luminosity correspond closely to massive and energetic mass outflow events, which follow bursts of star formation and inject sufficient energy into galactic haloes to power the metal-line emission. The strong time variability implies that even some relatively low-mass haloes may be detectable. Conversely, flux-limited samples will be biased towards haloes whose central galaxy has recently experienced a strong burst of star formation. Spatially extended UV metal-line emission around high-redshift galaxies should be detectable by current and upcoming integral field spectrographs such as the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer on the Very Large Telescope and Keck Cosmic Web Imager.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0035-8711
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 March 2020
Date of Acceptance: 4 August 2016
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2020 11:45
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/130251

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