AGN feedback, quiescence and CGM metal enrichment in early-type galaxies [GA]

We present three-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations showing the effect of kinetic and radiative AGN feedback on a model galaxy representing a massive quiescent low-redshift early-type galaxy of $M_* = 8.41\times 10^{10} M_\odot$, harbouring a $M_\mathrm{BH} = 4\times 10^8 M_\odot $ black hole surrounded by a cooling gaseous halo. We show that, for a total baryon fraction of $\sim 20\%$ of the cosmological value, feedback from the AGN can keep the galaxy quiescent for about 4.35 Gyr and with properties consistent with black hole mass and X-ray luminosity scaling relations. However, this can only be achieved if the AGN feedback model includes both kinetic and radiative feedback modes. The simulation with only kinetic feedback fails to keep the model galaxy fully quiescent, while one with only radiative feedback leads to excessive black-hole growth. For higher baryon fractions (e.g. 50\% of the cosmological value), the X-ray luminosities exceed observed values by at least one order of magnitude, and rapid cooling results in a star-forming galaxy. The AGN plays a major role in keeping the circumgalactic gas at observed metallicities of $Z/Z_\odot \gtrsim 0.3 $ within the central $\sim 30$ kpc by venting nuclear gas enriched with metals from residual star formation activity. As indicated by previous cosmological simulations, our results are consistent with a model for which the black hole mass and the total baryon fraction are set at higher redshifts $z > 1$ and the AGN alone can keep the model galaxy on observed scaling relations. Models without AGN feedback violate both the quiescence criterion as well as CGM metallicity constraints.

Read this paper on arXiv…

M. Eisenreich, T. Naab, E. Choi, et. al.
Fri, 24 Feb 17

Comments: 19 pages, 15 figures. Accepted for publication in MNRAS