The Role of Cold Flows in the Assembly of Galaxy Disks

Type Journal Article
Names A. M. Brooks, F. Governato, T. Quinn, C. B. Brook, J. Wadsley
Publication The Astrophysical Journal
Volume 694
Issue 1
Pages 396-410
Date March 1, 2009
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract We use high-resolution cosmological hydrodynamical simulations to demonstrate that cold flow gas accretion, particularly along filaments, modifies the standard picture of gas accretion and cooling onto galaxy disks. In the standard picture, all gas is initially heated to the virial temperature of the galaxy as it enters the virial radius. Low-mass galaxies are instead dominated by accretion of gas that stays well below the virial temperature, and even when a hot halo is able to develop in more massive galaxies there exist dense filaments that penetrate inside of the virial radius and deliver cold gas to the central galaxy. For galaxies up to ~L*, this cold accretion gas is responsible for the star formation (SF) in the disk at all times to the present. Even for galaxies at higher masses, cold flows dominate the growth of the disk at early times. Within this modified picture, galaxies are able to accrete a large mass of cold gas, with lower initial gas temperatures leading to shorter cooling times to reach the disk. Although SF in the disk is mitigated by supernovae feedback, the short cooling times allow for the growth of stellar disks at higher redshifts than predicted by the standard model.
Tags GALAXIES: EVOLUTION, galaxies: formation, methods: N-body simulations
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