In-N-Out: The Gas Cycle from Dwarfs to Spiral Galaxies

Charlotte R. Christensen, Romeel Davé, Fabio Governato, Andrew Pontzen, Alyson Brooks, Ferah Munshi, Thomas Quinn, James Wadsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We examine the scalings of galactic outflows with halo mass across a suite of 20 high-resolution cosmological zoom galaxy simulations covering halo masses in the range 109.5–1012 M. These simulations self-consistently generate outflows from the available supernova energy in a manner that successfully reproduces key galaxy observables, including the stellar mass–halo mass, Tully–Fisher, and mass–metallicity relations. We quantify the importance of ejective feedback to setting the stellar mass relative to the efficiency of gas accretion and star formation. Ejective feedback is increasingly important as galaxy mass decreases; we find an effective mass loading factor that scales as {ν}{{circ}}-2.2, with an amplitude and shape that are invariant with redshift. These scalings are consistent with analytic models for energy-driven wind, based solely on the halo potential. Recycling is common: about half of the outflow mass across all galaxy masses is later reaccreted. The recycling timescale is typically ∼1 Gyr, virtually independent of halo mass. Recycled material is reaccreted farther out in the disk and with typically ∼2-3 times more angular momentum. These results elucidate and quantify how the baryon cycle plausibly regulates star formation and alters the angular momentum distribution of disk material across the halo mass range where most cosmic star formation occurs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number57
Number of pages19
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2016

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: general
  • galaxies: structure
  • intergalactic medium
  • ISM: jets and outflows
  • methods: numerical


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