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    Understanding the survival, growth, and dynamics of cold gas is fundamental to galaxy formation. While there has been a plethora of work on ‘wind tunnel’ simulations that study such cold gas in winds, the infall of this gas under gravity is at least equally important, and fundamentally different since cold gas can never entrain. Instead, velocity shear increases and remains unrelenting. If these clouds are growing, they can experience a drag force due to the accretion of low-momentum gas, which dominates over ram pressure drag. This leads to subvirial terminal velocities, in line with observations. We develop simple analytic theory and predictions based on turbulent radiative mixing layers. We test these scalings in 3D hydrodynamic simulations, both for an artificial constant background and a more realistic stratified background. We find that the survival criterion for infalling gas is more stringent than in a wind, requiring that clouds grow faster than they are destroyed ($t_{\rm grow} \lt 4\, t_{\rm cc}$). This can be translated to a critical pressure, which for Milky Way-like conditions is $P \sim 3000 \, {k}_\mathrm{ B} \, {\rm K}\, {\rm cm}^{-3}$. Cold gas that forms via linear thermal instability (tcool/tff < 1) in planar geometry meetsmore »the survival threshold. In stratified environments, larger clouds need only survive infall until cooling becomes effective. We discuss applications to high-velocity clouds and filaments in galaxy clusters.

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  2. Abstract

    The Magellanic Stream is sculpted by its infall through the Milky Way’s circumgalactic medium, but the rates and directions of mass, momentum, and energy exchange through the stream-halo interface are relative unknowns critical for determining the origin and fate of the Stream. Complementary to large-scale simulations of LMC-SMC interactions, we apply new insights derived from idealized, high-resolutioncloud-crushingand radiative turbulent mixing layer simulations to the Leading Arm and Trailing Stream. Contrary to classical expectations of fast cloud breakup, we predict that the Leading Arm and much of the Trailing Stream should be surviving infall and even gaining mass due to strong radiative cooling. Provided a sufficiently supersonic tidal swing-out from the Clouds, the present-day Leading Arm could be a series of high-density clumps in the cooling tail behind the progenitor cloud. We back up our analytic framework with a suite of converged wind-tunnel simulations, finding that previous results on cloud survival and mass growth can be extended to high Mach number () flows with a modified drag timetdrag1+and longer growth time. We also simulate the Trailing Stream; we find that the growth time is long (approximately gigayears) compared to the infall time,more »and approximate Hαemission is low on average (∼ a few milliRayleigh) but can be up to tens of milliRayleigh in bright spots. Our findings also have broader extragalactic implications, e.g., galactic winds, which we discuss.

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  3. ABSTRACT Existing ubiquitously in the Universe with the highest luminosity, the Lyman-α (Lyα) emission line encodes abundant physical information about the gaseous medium it interacts with. Nevertheless, the resonant nature of the Lyα line complicates the radiative transfer (RT) modelling of the line profile. We revisit the problem of deciphering the Lyα emission line with RT modelling. We reveal intrinsic parameter degeneracies in the widely used shell model in the optically thick regime for both static and outflowing cases, which suggest the limitations of the model. We also explore the connection between the more physically realistic multiphase, clumpy model, and the shell model. We find that the parameters of a ‘very clumpy’ slab model and the shell model have the following correspondences: (1) the total column density, the effective temperature, and the average radial clump outflow velocity of the clumpy slab model are equal to the H i column density, effective temperature, and expansion velocity of the shell model, respectively; (2) large intrinsic linewidths are required in the shell model to reproduce the wings of the clumpy slab models; (3) adding another phase of hot interclump medium increases peak separation, and the fitted shell expansion velocity lies between the outflow velocitiesmore »of two phases of gas. Our results provide a viable solution to the major discrepancies associated with Lyα fitting reported in previous literature, and emphasize the importance of utilizing information from additional observations to break the intrinsic degeneracies and interpreting the model parameters in a more physically realistic context.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 24, 2023

    Much progress has been made recently in the acceleration of ∼104 K clouds to explain absorption line measurements of the circumgalactic medium and the warm, atomic phase of galactic winds. However, the origin of the cold, molecular phase in galactic winds has received relatively little theoretical attention. Studies of the survival of ∼104 K clouds suggest efficient radiative cooling may enable the survival of expelled material from galactic discs. Alternatively, gas colder than 104 K may form within the outflow, including molecules if dust survives the acceleration process. We explore the survival of dusty clouds in a hot wind with three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations including radiative cooling and dust modelled as tracer particles. We find that cold ∼103 K gas can be destroyed, survive, or transformed entirely to ${\sim}10^4\,$ K gas. We establish analytic criteria distinguishing these three outcomes that compare characteristic cooling times to the system’s ‘cloud crushing’ time. In contrast to typically studied ∼104 K clouds, colder clouds are entrained faster than the drag time as a result of efficient mixing. We find that while dust can in principle survive embedded in the accelerated clouds, the survival fraction depends critically on the time dust spends in the hot phase and on the effective thresholdmore »temperature for destruction. We discuss our results in the context of polluting the circumgalactic medium with dust and metals, as well as understanding observations suggesting rapid acceleration of molecular galactic winds and ram-pressure-stripped tails of jellyfish galaxies.

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    Astrophysical gases are commonly multiphase and highly turbulent. In this work, we investigate the survival and growth of cold gas in such a turbulent, multiphase medium using three-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations. Similar to previous work simulating coherent flow (winds), we find that cold gas survives if the cooling time of the mixed gas is shorter than the Kelvin–Helmholtz time of the cold gas clump (with some weak additional Mach number dependence). However, there are important differences. Near the survival threshold, the long-term evolution is highly stochastic, and subject to the existence of sufficiently large clumps. In a turbulent flow, the cold gas continuously fragments, enhancing its surface area. This leads to exponential mass growth, with a growth time given by the geometric mean of the cooling and the mixing time. The fragmentation process leads to a large number of small droplets which follow a scale-free dN/dm ∝ m−2 mass distribution, and dominate the area covering fraction. Thus, whilst survival depends on the presence of large ‘clouds’, these in turn produce a ‘fog’ of smaller droplets tightly coupled to the hot phase which are probed by absorption line spectroscopy. We show with the aid of Monte Carlo simulations that the simulated mass distributionmore »emerges naturally due to the proportional mass growth and the coagulation of droplets. We discuss the implications of our results for convergence criteria of larger scale simulations and observations of the circumgalactic medium.

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  6. Abstract

    We present extended Lyαemission out to 800 kpc of 1034 [Oiii]-selected galaxies at redshifts 1.9 <z< 2.35 using the Hobby–Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment. The locations and redshifts of the galaxies are taken from the 3D-HST survey. The median-stacked surface brightness profile of the Lyαemission of the [Oiii]-selected galaxies agrees well with that of 968 bright Lyα-emitting galaxies (LAEs) atr> 40 kpc from the galaxy centers. The surface brightness in the inner parts (r< 10 kpc) around the [Oiii]-selected galaxies, however, is 10 times fainter than that of the LAEs. Our results are consistent with the notion that photons dominating the outer regions of the Lyαhalos are not produced in the central galaxies but originate outside of them.

  7. ABSTRACT This paper presents a detailed analysis of two giant Lyman-alpha (Ly α) arcs detected near galaxies at z = 3.038 and z = 3.754 lensed by the massive cluster MACS 1206−0847 (z = 0.44). The Ly α nebulae revealed in deep MUSE observations exhibit a double-peaked profile with a dominant red peak, indicating expansion/outflowing motions. One of the arcs stretches over 1 arcmin around the cluster Einstein radius, resolving the velocity field of the line-emitting gas on kpc scales around three star-forming galaxies of 0.3–$1.6\, L_*$ at z = 3.038. The second arc spans 15 arcsec in size, roughly centred around two low-mass Ly α emitters of $\approx 0.03\, L_*$ at z = 3.754. All three galaxies in the z = 3.038 group exhibit prominent damped Ly α absorption (DLA) and several metal absorption lines, in addition to nebular emission lines such as $\hbox{He ii}$$\lambda \, 1640$ and C iii]λλ1906, 1908. Extended Ly α emission appears to emerge from star-forming regions with suppressed surface brightness at the centre of each galaxy. Significant spatial variations in the Ly α line profile are observed which, when unaccounted for in the integrated line, leads to biased constraints for the underlying gas kinematics. The observed spatial variations indicate the presence of a steep velocity gradient in amore »continuous flow of high column density gas from star-forming regions into a low-density halo environment. A detailed inspection of available galaxy spectra shows no evidence of AGN activity in the galaxies, and the observed Ly α signals are primarily explained by resonant scattering. The study presented in this paper shows that spatially resolved imaging spectroscopy provides the most detailed insights yet into the kinematics of galactic superwinds associated with star-forming galaxies.« less

    The cosmic ionizing emissivity from star-forming galaxies has long been anchored to UV luminosity functions. Here, we introduce an emissivity framework based on Lyα emitters (LAEs), which naturally hones in on the subset of galaxies responsible for the ionizing background due to the intimate connection between production and escape of Lyα and LyC photons. Using constraints on the escape fractions of bright LAEs (LLyα > 0.2L*) at z ≈ 2 obtained from resolved Lyα profiles, and arguing for their redshift-invariance, we show that: (i) quasars and LAEs together reproduce the relatively flat emissivity at z ≈ 2–6, which is non-trivial given the strong evolution in both the star formation density and quasar number density at these epochs and (ii) LAEs produce late and rapid reionization between z ≈ 6−9 under plausible assumptions. Within this framework, the >10 × rise in the UV population-averaged fesc between z ≈ 3–7 naturally arises due to the same phenomena that drive the growing LAE fraction with redshift. Generally, a LAE dominated emissivity yields a peak in the distribution of the ionizing budget with UV luminosity as reported in latest simulations. Using our adopted parameters ($f_{\rm {esc}}=50{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$, ξion = 1025.9 Hz erg−1 formore »half the bright LAEs), a highly ionizing minority of galaxies with MUV < −17 accounts for the entire ionizing budget from star-forming galaxies. Rapid flashes of LyC from such rare galaxies produce a ‘disco’ ionizing background. We conclude proposing tests to further develop our suggested Lyα-anchored formalism.

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  9. ABSTRACT We present new observations of Lyman-α (Lyα) Blob 1 (LAB1) in the SSA22 protocluster region (z = 3.09) using the Keck Cosmic Web Imager and Keck Multi-object Spectrometer for Infrared Exploration. We have created a narrow-band Lyα image and identified several prominent features. By comparing the spatial distributions and intensities of Lyα and Hβ, we find that recombination of photo-ionized H i gas followed by resonant scattering is sufficient to explain all the observed Lyα/Hβ ratios. We further decode the spatially resolved Lyα profiles using both moment maps and radiative transfer modelling. By fitting a set of multiphase, ‘clumpy’ models to the observed Lyα profiles, we manage to reasonably constrain many parameters, namely the H i number density in the interclump medium (ICM), the cloud volume filling factor, the random velocity and outflow velocity of the clumps, the H i outflow velocity of the ICM, and the local systemic redshift. Our model has successfully reproduced the diverse Lyα morphologies, and the main results are: (1) the observed Lyα spectra require relatively few clumps per line of sight as they have significant fluxes at the line centre; (2) the velocity dispersion of the clumps yields a significant broadening of the spectra as observed; (3)more »the clump bulk outflow can also cause additional broadening if the H i in the ICM is optically thick; (4) and the H i in the ICM is responsible for the absorption feature close to the Lyα line centre.« less

    The ionizing photon escape fraction [Lyman continuum (LyC) fesc] of star-forming galaxies is the single greatest unknown in the reionization budget. Stochastic sightline effects prohibit the direct separation of LyC leakers from non-leakers at significant redshifts. Here we circumvent this uncertainty by inferring fesc using resolved (R > 4000) Lyman α (Lyα) profiles from the X-SHOOTER Lyα survey at z = 2 (XLS-z2). With empirically motivated criteria, we use Lyα profiles to select leakers ($f_{\mathrm{ esc}} > 20{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$) and non-leakers ($f_{\mathrm{ esc}} < 5{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$) from a representative sample of >0.2L* Lyman α emitters (LAEs). We use median stacked spectra of these subsets over λrest ≈ 1000–8000 Å to investigate the conditions for LyC fesc. Our stacks show similar mass, metallicity, MUV, and βUV. We find the following differences between leakers versus non-leakers: (i) strong nebular C iv and He ii emission versus non-detections; (ii) [O iii]/[O ii] ≈ 8.5 versus ≈3; (iii) Hα/Hβ indicating no dust versus E(B − V) ≈ 0.3; (iv) Mg ii emission close to the systemic velocity versus redshifted, optically thick Mg ii; and (v) Lyα fesc of ${\approx} 50{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ versus ${\approx} 10{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$. The extreme equivalent widths (EWs) in leakers ([O iii]+$\mathrm{ H}\beta \approx 1100$ Å rest frame)more »constrain the characteristic time-scale of LyC escape to ≈3–10 Myr bursts when short-lived stars with the hardest ionizing spectra shine. The defining traits of leakers – extremely ionizing stellar populations, low column densities, a dust-free, high-ionization state interstellar medium (ISM) – occur simultaneously in the $f_{\rm esc} > 20{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ stack, suggesting they are causally connected, and motivating why indicators like [O iii]/[O ii] may suffice to constrain fesc at z > 6 with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The leakers comprise half of our sample, have a median LyC$f_{\rm esc} \approx 50{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ (conservative range: $20\!-\!55{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$), and an ionizing production efficiency $\log ({\xi _{\rm {ion}}/\rm {Hz\ erg^{-1}}})\approx 25.9$ (conservative range: 25.7–25.9). These results show LAEs – the type of galaxies rare at z ≈ 2, but that become the norm at higher redshift – are highly efficient ionizers, with extreme ξion and prolific fesc occurring in sync.

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