Galaxy formation with local photoionization feedback - II. Effect of X-ray emission from binaries and hot gas

R. Kannan, M. Vogelsberger, G. S. Stinson, J. F. Hennawi, F. Marinacci, V. Springel, A. V. Macciò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study how X-rays from stellar binary systems and the hot intracluster medium (ICM) affect the radiative cooling rates of gas in galaxies. Our study uses a novel implementation of gas cooling in the moving-mesh hydrodynamics code AREPO. X-rays from stellar binaries do not affect cooling at all as their emission spectrum is too hard to effectively couple with galactic gas. In contrast, X-rays from the ICM couple well with gas in the temperature range 104-106 K. Idealized simulations show that the hot halo radiation field has minimal impact on the dynamics of cooling flows in clusters because of the high virial temperature (≳ 107 K), making the interaction between the gas and incident photons very ineffective. Satellite galaxies in cluster environments, on the other hand, experience a high radiation flux due to the emission from the host halo. Low-mass satellites (≲ 1012M) in particular have virial temperatures that are exactly in the regime where the effect of the radiation field is maximal. Idealized simulations of satellite galaxies including only the effect of host halo radiation (no ram pressure stripping or tidal effects) fields show a drastic reduction in the amount of cool gas formed (~40 per cent) on a short time-scale of about 0.5 Gyr. A galaxy merger simulation including all the other environmental quenching mechanisms, shows about 20 per cent reduction in the stellar mass of the satellite and about ~30 per cent reduction in star formation rate after 1 Gyr due to the host hot halo radiation field. These results indicate that the hot halo radiation fields potentially play an important role in quenching galaxies in cluster environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2516-2529
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 8 2016


  • Atomic processes
  • Galaxies: Formation
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Methods: Numerical
  • Plasmas
  • Radiative transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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