Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 445, 2061-2081 (2014/December-1)
Mining circumgalactic baryons in the low-redshift universe.
LIANG C.J. and CHEN H.-W.
Abstract (from CDS):
This paper presents an absorption-line study of the multiphase circumgalactic medium (CGM) based on observations of Lyα, CII, CIV, SiII, SiIII, and SiIV absorption transitions in the vicinities of 195 galaxies at redshift z < 0.176. The galaxy sample is established based on a cross-comparison between public galaxy and quasi-stellar object (QSO) survey data and is characterized by a median redshift of <z> = 0.041, a median projected distance of <d> = 362 kpc to the sightline of the background QSO, and a median stellar mass of log(Mstar/M☉) = 9.7±1.1. Comparing the absorber features identified in the QSO spectra with known galaxy properties has led to strong constraints for the CGM absorption properties at z ≲ 0.176. First, abundant hydrogen gas is observed out to d ∼ 500 kpc, well beyond the dark matter halo radius Rh of individual galaxies, with a mean covering fraction of ~60 percent. In contrast, no heavy elements are detected at d ≳ 0.7Rh from either low-mass dwarfs or high-mass galaxies. The lack of detected heavy elements in low- and high-ionization states suggests that either there exists a chemical enrichment edge at d ~ 0.7Rh or gaseous clumps giving rise to the observed absorption lines cannot survive at these large distances. Considering all galaxies at d > Rh leads to a strict upper limit for the covering fraction of heavy elements of ~3 percent (at a 95 percent confidence level) over d = (1 - 9)Rh. At d < Rh, differential covering fraction between low- and high-ionization gas is observed, suggesting that the CGM becomes progressively more ionized from d < 0.3Rh to larger distances. Comparing CGM absorption observations at low and high redshifts shows that at a fixed fraction of Rh the CGM exhibits stronger mean absorption at z = 2.2 than at z ∼ 0, and that the distinction is most pronounced in low-ionization species traced by CII and SiII absorption lines. We discuss possible pseudo-evolution of the CGM as a result of misrepresentation of halo radius, and present a brief discussion on the implications of these findings.
© 2014 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society (2014)
survey - galaxies: dwarf - galaxies: haloes - intergalactic medium - quasars: absorption lines
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<Available at CDS (J/MNRAS/445/2061): table1.dat table2.dat table4.dat>
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