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Astrophysics > Astrophysics of Galaxies

Title: The Role of Cosmic Ray Transport in Shaping the Simulated Circumgalactic Medium

Abstract: The majority of galactic baryons reside outside of the galactic disk in the diffuse gas known as the circumgalactic medium (CGM). The physical processes that govern the galactic inflows and outflows that shape the complex multiphase structure of the CGM place rigid constraints on theories of galactic evolution. While state-of-the art simulations excel at reproducing galactic disk properties, many struggle to drive strong galactic winds or to match the observed ionization structure of the CGM using only thermal supernova feedback. To remedy this, recent studies have invoked non-thermal cosmic ray (CR) stellar feedback prescriptions. However, numerical schemes of CR transport are still poorly constrained. We explore how the choice of CR transport affects the multiphase structure of the simulated CGM. We implement anisotropic CR diffusion and streaming in the astrophysical simulation code, Enzo and simulate a suite of isolated disk galaxies with varying prescriptions for CR transport: isotropic diffusion, anisotropic diffusion, and streaming. We find that all three transport mechanisms result in strong, metal-rich outflows but differ in the temperature and ionization structure of their CGM. Isotropic diffusion results in a spatially uniform, warm CGM that underpredicts the column densities of low-ions. Anisotropic diffusion develops a reservoir of cool gas that extends further from the galactic center, but disperses rapidly with distance. CR streaming projects cool gas out to radii of 200 kpc, supporting a truly multiphase medium. In addition, we find that streaming is less sensitive to changes in constant parameter values like the CR injection fraction, transport velocity, and resolution than diffusion. We conclude that CR streaming is a more robust implementation of CR transport and motivate the need for detailed parameter studies of this mode of CR transport.
Comments: 20 pages, 14 figures, submitted to ApJ
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)
Cite as: arXiv:1803.06345 [astro-ph.GA]
  (or arXiv:1803.06345v1 [astro-ph.GA] for this version)

Submission history

From: Iryna Butsky [view email]
[v1] Fri, 16 Mar 2018 18:00:00 GMT (10884kb,D)