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    Star-forming galaxies like the Milky Way are surrounded by a hot gaseous halo at the virial temperature – the so-called galactic corona – that plays a fundamental role in their evolution. The interaction between the disc and the corona has been shown to have a direct impact on accretion of coronal gas onto the disc with major implications for galaxy evolution. In this work, we study the gas circulation between the disc and the corona of star-forming galaxies like the Milky Way. We use high-resolution hydrodynamical N-body simulations of a Milky Way-like galaxy with the inclusion of an observationally motivated galactic corona. In doing so, we use SMUGGLE, an explicit interstellar medium (ISM), and stellar feedback model coupled with the moving-mesh code arepo. We find that the reservoir of gas in the galactic corona is sustaining star formation: the gas accreted from the corona is the primary fuel for the formation of new stars, helping in maintaining a nearly constant level of cold gas mass in the galactic disc. Stellar feedback generates a gas circulation between the disc and the corona (the so-called galactic fountain) by ejecting different gas phases that are eventually re-accreted onto the disc. The accretion of coronal gas is promoted by its mixing with the galactic fountains at the disc–corona interface, causing the formation of intermediate temperature gas that enhances the cooling of the hot corona. We find that this process acts as a positive feedback mechanism, increasing the accretion rate of coronal gas onto the galaxy.

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    Self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) offers the potential to mitigate some of the discrepancies between simulated cold dark matter (CDM) and observed galactic properties. We introduce a physically motivated SIDM model to understand the effects of self interactions on the properties of Milky Way and dwarf galaxy sized haloes. This model consists of dark matter with a nearly degenerate excited state, which allows for both elastic and inelastic scattering. In particular, the model includes a significant probability for particles to up-scatter from the ground state to the excited state. We simulate a suite of zoom-in Milky Way-sized N-body haloes with six models with different scattering cross sections to study the effects of up-scattering in SIDM models. We find that the up-scattering reaction greatly increases the central densities of the main halo through the loss of kinetic energy. However, the physical model still results in significant coring due to the presence of elastic scattering and down-scattering. These effects are not as apparent in the subhalo population compared to the main halo, but the number of subhaloes is reduced compared to CDM.

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    We investigate cosmological structure formation in fuzzy dark matter (FDM) with the attractive self-interaction (SI) with numerical simulations. Such a SI would arise if the FDM boson were an ultra-light axion, which has a strong CP symmetry-breaking scale (decay constant). Although weak, the attractive SI may be strong enough to counteract the quantum ‘pressure’ and alter structure formation. We find in our simulations that the SI can enhance small-scale structure formation, and soliton cores above a critical mass undergo a phase transition, transforming from dilute to dense solitons.

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    We present a new set of cosmological zoom-in simulations of a Milky Way (MW)-like galaxy that for the first time include elastic velocity-dependent self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) and IllustrisTNG physics. With these simulations, we investigate the interaction between SIDM and baryons and its effects on the galaxy evolution process. We also introduce a novel set of modified dark matter-only simulations that can reasonably replicate the effects of fully realized hydrodynamics on the DM halo while simplifying the analysis and lowering the computational cost. We find that baryons change the thermal structure of the central region of the halo to a greater extent than the SIDM scatterings for MW-like galaxies. Additionally, we find that the new thermal structure of the MW-like halo causes SIDM to create cuspier central densities rather than cores because the SIDM scatterings remove the thermal support by transferring heat away from the centre of the galaxy. We find that this effect, caused by baryon contraction, begins to affect galaxies with a stellar mass of 108 M⊙ and increases in strength to the MW-mass scale.

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    Backsplash galaxies are galaxies that once resided inside a cluster, and have migrated back outside as they move towards the apocentre of their orbit. The kinematic properties of these galaxies are well understood, thanks to the significant study of backsplashers in dark matter-only simulations, but their intrinsic properties are not well-constrained due to modelling uncertainties in subgrid physics, ram pressure stripping, dynamical friction, and tidal forces. In this paper, we use the IllustrisTNG300-1 simulation, with a baryonic resolution of Mb ≈ 1.1 × 107 M⊙, to study backsplash galaxies around 1302 isolated galaxy clusters with mass 1013.0 < M200,mean/M⊙ < 1015.5. We employ a decision tree classifier to extract features of galaxies that make them likely to be backsplash galaxies, compared to nearby field galaxies, and find that backsplash galaxies have low gas fractions, high mass-to-light ratios, large stellar sizes, and low black hole occupation fractions. We investigate in detail the origins of these large sizes, and hypothesize their origins are linked to the tidal environments in the cluster. We show that the black hole recentring scheme employed in many cosmological simulations leads to the loss of black holes from galaxies accreted into clusters, and suggest improvements to these models. Generally, we find that backsplash galaxies are a useful population to test and understand numerical galaxy formation models due to their challenging environments and evolutionary pathways that interact with poorly constrained physics.

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    The tension between the diverging density profiles in Lambda cold dark matter simulations and the constant-density inner regions of observed galaxies is a long-standing challenge known as the ‘core–cusp’ problem. We demonstrate that the SMUGGLE galaxy formation model implemented in the arepo moving mesh code forms constant-density cores in idealized dwarf galaxies of M⋆ ≈ 8 × 107 Msun with initially cuspy dark matter (DM) haloes of M200 ≈ 1010 Msun. Identical initial conditions run with an effective equation of state interstellar medium model preserve cuspiness. Literature on the subject has pointed to the low density threshold for star formation, ρth, in such effective models as an obstacle to baryon-induced core formation. Using a SMUGGLE run with equal ρth, we demonstrate that core formation can proceed at low density thresholds, indicating that ρth is insufficient on its own to determine whether a galaxy develops a core. We reaffirm that the ability to resolve a multiphase interstellar medium at sufficiently high densities is a more reliable indicator of core formation than any individual model parameter. In SMUGGLE, core formation is accompanied by large degrees of non-circular motion, with gas rotational velocity profiles that consistently fall below the circular velocity $v_\text{circ} = \sqrt{GM/R}$ out to ∼2 kpc. Asymmetric drift corrections help recover the average underlying DM potential for some of our less efficient feedback runs, but time-variations in the instantaneous azimuthal gas velocity component are substantial, highlighting the need for careful modelling in the inner regions of dwarfs to infer the true distribution of DM.

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    We perform cosmological zoom-in simulations of 19 relaxed cluster-mass haloes with the inclusion of adiabatic gas in the cold dark matter (CDM) and self-interacting dark matter (SIDM) models. These clusters are selected as dynamically relaxed clusters from a parent simulation with $M_{\rm 200} \simeq (1\!-\!3)\times 10^{15}{\, \rm M_\odot }$. Both the dark matter and the intracluster gas distributions in SIDM appear more spherical than their CDM counterparts. Mock X-ray images are generated based on the simulations and are compared to the real X-ray images of 84 relaxed clusters selected from the Chandra and ROSAT archives. We perform ellipse fitting for the isophotes of mock and real X-ray images and obtain the ellipticities at cluster-centric radii of $r\simeq 0.1\!-\!0.2R_{\rm 200}$. The X-ray isophotes in SIDM models with increasing cross-sections are rounder than their CDM counterparts, which manifests as a systematic shift in the distribution function of ellipticities. Unexpectedly, the X-ray morphology of the observed non-cool-core clusters agrees better with SIDM models with cross-section $(\sigma /m)= 0.5\!-\!1\, {\rm cm}^2\, {\rm g}^{-1}$ than CDM and SIDM with $(\sigma /m)=0.1\, {\rm cm}^2\, {\rm g}^{-1}$. Our statistical analysis indicates that the latter two models are disfavoured at the $68{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ confidence level (as conservative estimates). This conclusion is not altered by shifting the radial range of measurements or applying a temperature selection criterion. However, the primary uncertainty originates from the lack of baryonic physics in the adiabatic model, such as cooling, star formation and feedback effects, which still have the potential to reconcile CDM simulations with observations.

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    Hydrogen emission lines can provide extensive information about star-forming galaxies in both the local and high-redshift Universe. We present a detailed Lyman continuum (LyC), Lyman-α (Lyα), and Balmer line (Hα and Hβ) radiative transfer study of a high-resolution isolated Milky Way simulation using the state-of-the-art Arepo-RT radiation hydrodynamics code with the SMUGGLE galaxy formation model. The realistic framework includes stellar feedback, non-equilibrium thermochemistry accounting for molecular hydrogen, and dust grain evolution in the interstellar medium (ISM). We extend our publicly available Cosmic Lyα Transfer (COLT) code with photoionization equilibrium Monte Carlo radiative transfer and various methodology improvements for self-consistent end-to-end (non-)resonant line predictions. Accurate LyC reprocessing to recombination emission requires modelling pre-absorption by dust ($f_\text{abs} \approx 27.5\,\rm{per\,\,cent}$), helium ionization ($f_\text{He} \approx 8.7\,\rm{per\,\,cent}$), and anisotropic escape fractions ($f_\text{esc} \approx 7.9\,\rm{per\,\,cent}$), as these reduce the available budget for hydrogen line emission ($f_\text{H} \approx 55.9\,\rm{per\,\,cent}$). We investigate the role of the multiphase dusty ISM, disc geometry, gas kinematics, and star formation activity in governing the physics of emission and escape, focusing on the time variability, gas-phase structure, and spatial spectral, and viewing angle dependence of the emergent photons. Isolated disc simulations are well-suited for comprehensive observational comparisons with local Hα surveys, but would require a proper cosmological circumgalactic medium (CGM) environment as well as less dust absorption and rotational broadening to serve as analogs for high-redshift Lyα emitting galaxies. Future applications of our framework to next-generation cosmological simulations of galaxy formation including radiation-hydrodynamics that resolve ≲10 pc multiphase ISM and ≲1 kpc CGM structures will provide crucial insights and predictions for current and upcoming Lyα observations.

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    Galaxy mergers are known to host abundant young massive cluster (YMC) populations, whose formation mechanism is still not well-understood. Here, we present a high-resolution galaxy merger simulation with explicit star formation and stellar feedback prescriptions to investigate how mergers affect the properties of the interstellar medium and YMCs. Compared with a controlled simulation of an isolated galaxy, the mass fraction of dense and high-pressure gas is much higher in mergers. Consequently, the mass function of both molecular clouds and YMCs becomes shallower and extends to higher masses. Moreover, cluster formation efficiency is significantly enhanced and correlates positively with the star formation rate surface density and gas pressure. We track the orbits of YMCs and investigate the time evolution of tidal fields during the course of the merger. At an early stage of the merger, the tidal field strength correlates positively with YMC mass, λtid ∝ M0.71, which systematically affects the shape of the mass function and age distribution of the YMCs. At later times, most YMCs closely follow the orbits of their host galaxies, gradually sinking into the centre of the merger remnant due to dynamical friction, and are quickly dissolved via efficient tidal disruption. Interestingly, YMCs formed during the first passage, mostly in tidal tails and bridges, are distributed over a wide range of galactocentric radii, greatly increasing their survivability because of the much weaker tidal field in the outskirts of the merger system. These YMCs are promising candidates for globular clusters that survive to the present day.

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    The nebular recombination line H α is widely used as a star formation rate (SFR) indicator in the local and high-redshift Universe. We present a detailed H α radiative transfer study of high-resolution isolated Milky-Way and Large Magellanic Cloud simulations that include radiative transfer, non-equilibrium thermochemistry, and dust evolution. We focus on the spatial morphology and temporal variability of the H α emission, and its connection to the underlying gas and star formation properties. The H α and H β radial and vertical surface brightness profiles are in excellent agreement with observations of nearby galaxies. We find that the fraction of H α emission from collisional excitation amounts to fcol ∼ 5–$10{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$, only weakly dependent on radius and vertical height, and that scattering boosts the H α luminosity by $\sim 40{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$. The dust correction via the Balmer decrement works well (intrinsic H α emission recoverable within 25 per cent), though the dust attenuation law depends on the amount of attenuation itself both on spatially resolved and integrated scales. Important for the understanding of the H α–SFR connection is the dust and helium absorption of ionizing radiation (Lyman continuum [LyC] photons), which are about $f_{\rm abs}\approx 28{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ and $f_{\rm He}\approx 9{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$, respectively. Together with an escape fraction of $f_{\rm esc}\approx 6{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$, this reduces the available budget for hydrogen line emission by nearly half ($f_{\rm H}\approx 57{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$). We discuss the impact of the diffuse ionized gas, showing – among other things – that the extraplanar H α emission is powered by LyC photons escaping the disc. Future applications of this framework to cosmological (zoom-in) simulations will assist in the interpretation of spectroscopy of high-redshift galaxies with the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope.

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