On the connection between the metal-enriched intergalactic medium and galaxies: An OVI-galaxy cross-correlation study at z < 1

Charles W. Finn, Simon L. Morris, NICOLÁS ANDRÉS TEJOS SALGADO, Neil H.M. Crighton, Robert Perry, Michele Fumagalli, Rich Bielby, Tom Theuns, Joop Schaye, Tom Shanks, Jochen Liske, Madusha L.P. Gunawardhana, Stephanie Bartle

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9 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present new results on the auto- and cross-correlation functions of galaxies and OVI absorbers in a ~18 Gpc3 comoving volume at z < 1. We use a sample of 51 296 galaxies and 140 OVI absorbers in the column density range 13 ≲ log N ≲ 15 to measure twopoint correlation functions in the two dimensions transverse and orthogonal to the line of sight ξ (r, r||). We furthermore infer the corresponding 'real-space' correlation functions, ξ (r), by projecting ξ (r, r||) along r||, and assuming a power-law form, ξ (r) = (r/r0). Comparing the results from the absorber-galaxy cross-correlation function, ξ ag, the galaxy autocorrelation function, ξ gg, and the absorber autocorrelation function, ξ aa, we constrain the statistical connection between galaxies and the metal-enriched intergalactic medium as a function of star formation activity. We also compare these results to predictions from the EAGLE cosmological hydrodynamical simulation and find a reasonable agreement. We find that: (i) OVI absorbers show very little velocity dispersion with respect to galaxies on ~ Mpc scales, likely ≲100 km s-1; (ii)OVI absorbers are less clustered, and potentially more extended around galaxies than galaxies are around themselves; (iii) on ≳ 100 kpc scales, the likelihood of finding OVI absorbers around star-forming galaxies is similar to the likelihood of finding OVI absorbers around non-star-forming galaxies; and (iv) OVI absorbers are either not ubiquitous to galaxies in our sample, or their distribution around them is patchy on scales ≳ 100 kpc (or both), at least for the column densities at which most are currently detected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-616
Number of pages27
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume460
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • Galaxies: formation
  • Intergalactic medium
  • Largescale structure of Universe
  • Quasars: absorption lines

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