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Oscar Agertz. Profile photo.

Oscar Agertz

Associate Professor / Senior university lecturer / Wallenberg Academy Fellow

Oscar Agertz. Profile photo.

Simulations of disk galaxies with cosmic ray driven galactic winds


  • C. M. Booth
  • Oscar Agertz
  • Andrey V. Kravtsov
  • Nickolay Y. Gnedin

Summary, in English

We present results from high-resolution hydrodynamic simulations of isolated Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC)- and Milky-Way-sized galaxies that include a model for feedback from galactic cosmic rays (CRs). We find that CRs are naturally able to drive winds with mass loading factors of up to ∼10 in dwarf systems. The scaling of the mass loading factor with circular velocity between the two simulated systems is consistent with η ∝ v 1-2
circ required to reproduce the faint end of the galaxy luminosity function. In addition, simulations with CR feedback reproduce both the normalization and the slope of the observed trend of wind velocity with galaxy circular velocity. We find that winds in simulations with CR feedback exhibit qualitatively different properties compared to supernova-driven winds, where most of acceleration happens violently in situ near star forming sites. The CR-driven winds are accelerated gently by the large-scale pressure gradient established by CRs diffusing from the star-forming galaxy disk out into the halo. The CR-driven winds also exhibit much cooler temperatures and, in the SMC-sized system, warm (T ∼ 104 K) gas dominates the outflow. The prevalence of warm gas in such outflows may provide a clue as to the origin of ubiquitous warm gas in the gaseous halos of galaxies detected via absorption lines in quasar spectra.

Publishing year





Astrophysical Journal Letters





Document type

Journal article


IOP Publishing


  • cosmic rays
  • galaxies: formation
  • methods: numerical




  • ISSN: 2041-8205