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The impact of feedback and the hot halo on the rates of gas accretion on to galaxies

Correa, Camila A., Schaye, Joop, van de Voort, Freeke ORCID:, Duffy, Alan R. and Wyithe, J. Stuart B. 2018. The impact of feedback and the hot halo on the rates of gas accretion on to galaxies. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 478 (1) , pp. 255-269. 10.1093/mnras/sty871

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We investigate the physics that drives the gas accretion rates on to galaxies at the centres of dark matter haloes using the EAGLE suite of hydrodynamical cosmological simulations. We find that at redshifts z ≤ 2, the accretion rate on to the galaxy increases with halo mass in the halo mass range 1010–1011.7 M⊙, flattens between the halo masses 1011.7 and 1012.7 M⊙, and increases again for higher mass haloes. However, the galaxy gas accretion does not flatten at intermediate halo masses when active galactic nucleus (AGN) feedback is switched off. To better understand these trends, we develop a physically motivated semi-analytic model of galaxy gas accretion. We show that the flattening is produced by the rate of gas cooling from the hot halo. The ratio of the cooling radius and the virial radius does not decrease continuously with increasing halo mass as generally thought. While it decreases up to ∼1013 M⊙ haloes, it increases for higher halo masses, causing an upturn in the galaxy gas accretion rate. This may indicate that in high-mass haloes, AGN feedback is not sufficiently efficient. When there is no AGN feedback, the density of the hot halo is higher, the ratio of the cooling and virial radii does not decrease as much, and the cooling rate is higher. Changes in the efficiency of stellar feedback can also increase or decrease the accretion rates on to galaxies. The trends can plausibly be explained by the re-accretion of gas ejected by progenitor galaxies and by the suppression of black hole growth, and hence AGN feedback, by stellar feedback.

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 May 2018
Last Modified: 11 May 2023 08:15

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