Local photoionization feedback effects on galaxies

Aura Obreja, Andrea V. Macciò, Benjamin Moster, Silviu M. Udrescu, Tobias Buck, Rahul Kannan, Aaron A. Dutton, Marvin Blank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We implement an optically thin approximation for the effects of the local radiation field from stars and hot gas on the gas heating and cooling in the N-body smoothed particle hydrodynamics code GASOLINE2. We resimulate three galaxies from the NIHAO project: one dwarf, one Milky Way-like, and one massive spiral, and study what are the local radiation field effects on various galaxy properties. We also study the effects of varying the ultraviolet background (UVB) model, by running the same galaxies with two different UVBs. Galaxy properties at z = 0 like stellar mass, stellar effective mass radius, H I mass, and radial extent of the H I disc show significant changes between the models with and without the local radiation field, and smaller differences between the two UVB models. The intrinsic effect of the local radiation field through cosmic time is to increase the equilibrium temperature at the interface between the galaxies and their circumgalactic media (CGM), moving this boundary inwards, while leaving relatively unchanged the gas inflow rate. Consequently, the temperature of the inflow increases when considering the local radiation sources. This temperature increase is a function of total galaxy mass, with a median CGM temperature difference of one order of magnitude for the massive spiral. The local radiation field suppresses the stellar mass growth by 20 per cent by z = 0 for all three galaxies, while the H I mass is roughly halved. The differences in the gas phase diagrams, significantly impact the H I column densities, shifting their peaks in the distributions towards lower NH I.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1518-1538
Number of pages21
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: structure
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Methods: numerical
  • Plasmas
  • Radiative transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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