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The origin of X-ray coronae around simulated disc galaxies

Kelly, Ashley J. and Jenkins, Adrian and Frenk, Carlos S. (2021) 'The origin of X-ray coronae around simulated disc galaxies.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 502 (2). pp. 2934-2951.


The existence of hot, accreted gaseous coronae around massive galaxies is a long-standing central prediction of galaxy formation models in the ΛCDM cosmology. While observations now confirm that extraplanar hot gas is present around late-type galaxies, the origin of the gas is uncertain with suggestions that galactic feedback could be the dominant source of energy powering the emission. We investigate the origin and X-ray properties of the hot gas that surrounds galaxies of halo mass, (1011−1014)M⊙⁠, in the cosmological hydrodynamical EAGLE simulations. We find that the central X-ray emission, ≤0.10Rvir, of haloes of mass ≤1013M⊙ originates from gas heated by supernovae (SNe). However, beyond this region, a quasi-hydrostatic, accreted atmosphere dominates the X-ray emission in haloes of mass ≥1012M⊙⁠. We predict that a dependence on halo mass of the hot gas to dark matter mass fraction can significantly change the slope of the LX–Mvir relation (which is typically assumed to be 4/3 for clusters) and we derive the scaling law appropriate to this case. As the gas fraction in haloes increases with halo mass, we find a steeper slope for the LX–Mvir in lower mass haloes, ≤1014M⊙⁠. This varying gas fraction is driven by active galactic nuclei feedback. We also identify the physical origin of the so-called ‘missing feedback’ problem, the apparently low X-ray luminosities observed from high star-forming, low-mass galaxies. This is explained by the ejection of SNe-heated gas from the central regions of the halo.

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Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2021 the Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:19 January 2021
Date deposited:15 July 2021
Date of first online publication:04 February 2021
Date first made open access:15 July 2021

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