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    Galaxies comprise intricate networks of interdependent processes which together govern their evolution. Central among these are the multiplicity of feedback channels, which remain incompletely understood. One outstanding problem is the understanding and modelling of the multiphase nature of galactic winds, which play a crucial role in galaxy formation and evolution. We present the results of three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamical simulations of tall–box interstellar medium (ISM) patches with clustered supernova-driven outflows. Dynamical fragmentation of the ISM during superbubble breakout seeds the resulting hot outflow with a population of cool clouds. We focus on analyzing and modelling the origin and properties of these clouds. Their presence induces large-scale turbulence, which, in turn, leads to complex cloud morphologies. Cloud sizes are well described by a power-law distribution and mass growth rates can be modelled using turbulent radiative mixing layer theory. Turbulence provides significant pressure support in the clouds, while magnetic fields only play a minor role. We conclude that many of the physical insights and analytic scalings derived from idealized small-scale simulations of turbulent radiative mixing layers and cloud–wind interactions are directly translatable and applicable to these larger scale cloud populations. This opens the door to developing effective subgrid recipes for their inclusion in global-scale galaxy models where they are unresolved.

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    The origin of the cold phase in the circumgalactic medium (CGM) is a highly debated question. We investigate the contribution of satellite galaxies to the cold gas budget in the CGM of a Milky Way-like host galaxy. We perform controlled experiments with three different satellite mass distributions and identify several mechanisms by which satellites can add cold gas to the CGM, including ram pressure stripping and induced cooling in the mixing layer of the stripped cold gas. These two mechanisms contribute a comparable amount of cold gas to the host CGM. We find that the less massive satellites (≤109M⊙) not only lose all of their cold gas in a short period (∼ 0.5–1 Gyr), but their stripped cold clouds also mix with the hot CGM gas and get heated up quickly. However, stellar feedback from these less massive satellites can hugely alter the fate of their stripped gas. Feedback speeds up the destruction of the stripped cold clouds from these satellites by making them more diffuse with more surface area. On the other hand, the more massive satellites (LMC or SMC-like ∼1010M⊙) can add cold gas to the total gas budget of the host CGM for several Gyr.

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  3. Abstract

    The circumgalactic medium (CGM) plays a pivotal role in regulating gas flows around galaxies and thus shapes their evolution. However, the details of how galaxies and their CGM coevolve remain poorly understood. We present a new time-dependent two-zone model that self-consistently tracks not just mass and metal flows between galaxies and their CGM but also the evolution of the global thermal and turbulent kinetic energy of the CGM. Our model accounts for heating and turbulence driven by both supernova winds and cosmic accretion as well as radiative cooling, turbulence dissipation, and halo outflows due to CGM overpressurization. We demonstrate that, depending on parameters, the CGM can undergo a phase transition (“thermalization”) from a cool, turbulence-supported phase to a virial-temperature, thermally supported phase. This CGM phase transition is largely determined by the ability of radiative cooling to balance heating from supernova winds and turbulence dissipation. We perform an initial calibration of our model to the FIRE-2 cosmological hydrodynamical simulations and show that it can approximately reproduce the baryon cycles of the simulated halos. In particular, we find that, for these parameters, the phase transition occurs at high redshift in ultrafaint progenitors and at low redshift in classicalMvir∼ 1011Mdwarfs, while Milky Way–mass halos undergo the transition atz≈ 0.5. We see a similar transition in the simulations though it is more gradual, likely reflecting radial dependence and multiphase gas not captured by our model. We discuss these and other limitations of the model and possible future extensions.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024

    The nature of cosmic ray (CR) transport in the Milky Way remains elusive. The predictions of current microphysical CR transport models in magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence are drastically different from what is observed. These models usually focus on MHD turbulence with a strong guide field and ignore the impact of turbulent intermittency on particle propagation. This motivates our studying the alternative regime of large-amplitude turbulence with δB/B0 ≫ 1, in which intermittent small-scale magnetic field reversals are ubiquitous. We study particle transport in such turbulence by integrating trajectories in stationary snapshots. To quantify spatial diffusion, we use a set-up with continuous particle injection and escape, which we term the turbulent leaky box. We find that particle transport is very different from the strong guide-field case. Low-energy particles are better confined than high-energy particles, despite less efficient pitch-angle isotropization at small energies. In the limit of weak guide field, energy-dependent confinement is driven by the energy-dependent (in)ability to follow reversing magnetic field lines exactly and by the scattering in regions of ‘resonant curvature’, where the field line bends on a scale that is of the order of the local particle gyro-radius. We derive a heuristic model of particle transport in magnetic folds that approximately reproduces the energy dependence of transport found numerically. We speculate that CR propagation in the Galaxy is regulated by the intermittent field reversals highlighted here and discuss the implications of our findings for CR transport in the Milky Way.

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  5. Abstract

    Turbulent radiative mixing layers (TRMLs) form at the interface of cold, dense gas and hot, diffuse gas in motion with each other. TRMLs are ubiquitous in and around galaxies on a variety of scales, including galactic winds and the circumgalactic medium. They host the intermediate-temperature gases that are efficient in radiative cooling, thus playing a crucial role in controlling the cold gas supply, phase structure, and spectral features of galaxies. In this work, we develop an intuitive analytic 1.5-dimensional model for TRMLs that includes a simple parameterization of the effective turbulent conductivity and viscosity and a piecewise power-law cooling curve. Our analytic model reproduces the mass flux, total cooling, and phase structure of 3D simulations of TRMLs at a fraction of the computational cost. It also reveals essential insights into the physics of TRMLs, particularly the importance of the viscous dissipation of relative kinetic energy in balancing radiative cooling as the shear Mach number approaches unity. This dissipation takes place both in the intermediate-temperature phase, which reduces the enthalpy flux from the hot phase, and in the cold phase, which enhances radiative cooling. Additionally, our model provides a fast and easy way of computing the column density and surface brightness of TRMLs, which can be directly linked to observations.

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  6. Abstract The processes controlling the complex clump structure, phase distribution, and magnetic field geometry that develop across a broad range of scales in the turbulent interstellar medium (ISM) remain unclear. Using unprecedentedly high-resolution 3D magnetohydrodynamic simulations of thermally unstable turbulent systems, we show that large current sheets unstable to plasmoid-mediated reconnection form regularly throughout the volume. The plasmoids form in three distinct environments: (i) within cold clumps, (ii) at the asymmetric interface of the cold and warm phases, and (iii) within the warm, volume-filling phase. We then show that the complex magnetothermal phase structure is characterized by a predominantly highly magnetized cold phase, but that regions of high magnetic curvature, which are the sites of reconnection, span a broad range in temperature. Furthermore, we show that thermal instabilities change the scale-dependent anisotropy of the turbulent magnetic field, reducing the increase in eddy elongation at smaller scales. Finally, we show that most of the mass is contained in one contiguous cold structure surrounded by smaller clumps that follow a scale-free mass distribution. These clumps tend to be highly elongated and exhibit a size versus internal velocity relation consistent with supersonic turbulence and a relative clump distance–velocity scaling consistent with subsonic motion. We discuss the striking similarity of cold plasmoids to observed tiny-scale atomic and ionized structures and H i fibers and consider how the presence of plasmoids will modify the motion of charged particles, thereby impacting cosmic-ray transport and thermal conduction in the ISM and other similar systems. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024
  7. Abstract

    Galactic outflows driven by supernovae (SNe) are thought to be a powerful regulator of a galaxy’s star-forming efficiency. Mass, energy, and metal outflows (ηM,ηE, andηZ, here normalized by the star formation rate, the SNe energy, and metal production rates, respectively) shape galaxy properties by both ejecting gas and metals out of the galaxy and by heating the circumgalactic medium (CGM), preventing future accretion. Traditionally, models have assumed that galaxies self-regulate by ejecting a large fraction of the gas, which enters the interstellar medium (ISM), although whether such high mass loadings agree with observations is still unclear. To better understand how the relative importance of ejective (i.e., high mass loading) versus preventative (i.e., high energy loading) feedback affects the present-day properties of galaxies, we develop a simple gas-regulator model of galaxy evolution, where the stellar mass, ISM, and CGM are modeled as distinct reservoirs which exchange mass, metals, and energy at different rates within a growing halo. Focusing on the halo mass range from 1010to 1012M, we demonstrate that, with reasonable parameter choices, we can reproduce the stellar-to-halo mass relation and the ISM-to-stellar mass relation with low-mass-loaded (ηM∼ 0.1–10) but high-energy-loaded (ηE∼ 0.1–1) winds, with self-regulation occurring primarily through heating and cooling of the CGM. We show that the model predictions are robust against changes to the mass loading of outflows but are quite sensitive to our choice of the energy loading, preferringηE∼ 1 for the lowest-mass halos and ∼0.1 for Milky Way–like halos.

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    We present a method to characterize star-formation driven outflows from edge-on galaxies and apply this method to the metal-poor starburst galaxy, Mrk 1486. Our method uses the distribution of emission line flux (from H β and [O iii] 5007) to identify the location of the outflow and measure the extent above the disc, the opening angle, and the transverse kinematics. We show that this simple technique recovers a similar distribution of the outflow without requiring complex modelling of line-splitting or multi-Gaussian components, and is therefore applicable to lower spectral resolution data. In Mrk 1486 we observe an asymmetric outflow in both the location of the peak flux and total flux from each lobe. We estimate an opening angle of 17–37° depending on the method and assumptions adopted. Within the minor axis outflows, we estimate a total mass outflow rate of ∼2.5 M⊙ yr−1, which corresponds to a mass loading factor of η = 0.7. We observe a non-negligible amount of flux from ionized gas outflowing along the edge of the disc (perpendicular to the biconical components), with a mass outflow rate ∼0.9 M⊙ yr−1. Our results are intended to demonstrate a method that can be applied to high-throughput low spectral resolution observations, such as narrow-band filters or low spectral resolution integral field spectrographs that may be more able to recover the faint emission from outflows.

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    Arkenstone is a new model for multiphase, stellar feedback-driven galactic winds designed for inclusion in coarse resolution cosmological simulations. In this first paper of a series, we describe the features that allow Arkenstone to properly treat high specific energy wind components and demonstrate them using idealized non-cosmological simulations of a galaxy with a realistic circumgalactic medium (CGM), using the arepo code. Hot, fast gas phases with low mass loadings are predicted to dominate the energy content of multiphase outflows. In order to treat the huge dynamic range of spatial scales involved in cosmological galaxy formation at feasible computational expense, cosmological volume simulations typically employ a Lagrangian code or else use adaptive mesh refinement with a quasi-Lagrangian refinement strategy. However, it is difficult to inject a high specific energy wind in a Lagrangian scheme without incurring artificial burstiness. Additionally, the low densities inherent to this type of flow result in poor spatial resolution. Arkenstone addresses these issues with a novel scheme for coupling energy into the transition region between the interstellar medium (ISM) and the CGM, while also providing refinement at the base of the wind. Without our improvements, we show that poor spatial resolution near the sonic point of a hot, fast outflow leads to an underestimation of gas acceleration as the wind propagates. We explore the different mechanisms by which low and high specific energy winds can regulate the star formation rate of galaxies. In future work, we will demonstrate other aspects of the Arkenstone model.

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  10. Abstract

    We present an analytic model for clustered supernovae (SNe) feedback in galaxy disks, incorporating the dynamical evolution of superbubbles formed from spatially overlapping SNe remnants. We propose two realistic outcomes for the evolution of superbubbles in galactic disks: (1) the expansion velocity of the shock front falls below the turbulent velocity dispersion of the interstellar medium in the galaxy disk, whereupon the superbubble stalls and fragments, depositing its momentum entirely within the galaxy disk; or (2) the superbubble grows in size to reach the gas scale height, breaking out of the galaxy disk and driving galactic outflows/fountains. In either case, we find that superbubble breakup/breakout almost always occurs before the last Type II SN (≲40 Myr) in the recently formed star cluster, assuming a standard high-end initial mass function slope, and scalings between stellar lifetimes and masses. The threshold between these two cases implies a break in the effective strength of feedback in driving turbulence within galaxies, and a resulting change in the scalings of, for example, star formation rates with gas surface density (the Kennicutt–Schmidt relation) and the star formation efficiency in galaxy disks.

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