Rivers of Gas I.: Unveiling The Properties of High Redshift Filaments

4 Jan 2021  ·  Marius Ramsøy, Adrianne Slyz, Julien Devriendt, Clotilde Laigle, Yohan Dubois ·

At high redshift, the cosmic web is widely expected to have a significant impact on the morphologies, dynamics and star formation rates of the galaxies embedded within it, underscoring the need for a comprehensive study of the properties of such a filamentary network. With this goal in mind, we perform an analysis of high-$z$ gas and dark matter (DM) filaments around a Milky Way-like progenitor simulated with the {\sc ramses} adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) code from cosmic scales ($\sim$1 Mpc) down to the virial radius of its DM halo host ($\sim$20 kpc at $z=4$). Radial density profiles of both gas and DM filaments are found to have the same functional form, namely a plummer-like profile modified to take into account the wall within which these filaments are embedded. Measurements of the typical filament core radius $r_0$ from the simulation are consistent with that of isothermal cylinders in hydrostatic equilibrium. Such an analytic model also predicts a redshift evolution for the core radius of filaments in fair agreement with the measured value for DM $(r_0 \propto (1+z)^{-3.18\pm 0.28})$. Gas filament cores grow as $(r_0 \propto (1+z)^{-2.72\pm 0.26})$. In both gas and DM, temperature and vorticity sharply drop at the edge of filaments, providing an excellent way to constrain the outer filament radius. When feedback is included the gas temperature and vorticity fields are strongly perturbed, hindering such a measurement in the vicinity of the galaxy. However, the core radius of the filaments as measured from the gas density field is largely unaffected by feedback, and the median central density is only reduced by about 20%.

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Astrophysics of Galaxies