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Multi-filament gas inflows fuelling young star-forming galaxies

Martin, D. Christopher and O'Sullivan, Donal and Matuszewski, Mateusz and Hamden, Erika T. and Dekel, Avishai and Lapiner, Sharon and Morrissey, Patrick and Neill, James D. and Cantalupo, Sebastiano and Prochaska, Jason Xavier and Steidel, Charles and Trainor, Ryan and Moore, Anna and Ceverino, Daniel and Primack, Joel and Rizzi, Luca (2019) Multi-filament gas inflows fuelling young star-forming galaxies. Nature Astronomy, 3 (9). pp. 822-831. ISSN 2397-3366. doi:10.1038/s41550-019-0791-2.

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Theory suggests that there are two primary modes of accretion through which dark-matter halos acquire the gas to form and fuel galaxies: hot- and cold-flow accretion. In cold-flow accretion, gas streams along cosmic web filaments to the centre of the halo, allowing for the efficient delivery of star-forming fuel. Recently, two quasar-illuminated H I Lyman ɑ (Lyα)-emitting objects were reported to have properties of cold, rotating structures. However, the spatial and spectral resolution available was insufficient to constrain the radial flows associated with connecting filaments. With the Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI), we now have eight times the spatial resolution, permitting the detection of these inspiralling flows. To detect these inflows, we introduce a suite of models that incorporate zonal radial flows, demonstrate their performance on a numerical simulation that exhibits cold-flow accretion, and show that they are an excellent match to KCWI velocity maps of two Lyα emitters observed around high-redshift quasars. These multi-filament inflow models kinematically isolate zones of radial inflow that correspond to extended filamentary emission. The derived gas flux and inflow path is sufficient to fuel the inferred central galaxy star-formation rate and angular momentum. Thus, our kinematic emission maps provide strong evidence that the inflow of gas from the cosmic web is building galaxies at the peak of star formation.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle ReadCube access Paper
Martin, D. Christopher0000-0002-8650-1644
O'Sullivan, Donal0000-0002-4959-9179
Dekel, Avishai0000-0003-4174-0374
Morrissey, Patrick0000-0001-8177-1023
Neill, James D.0000-0002-0466-1119
Cantalupo, Sebastiano0000-0001-5804-1428
Prochaska, Jason Xavier0000-0002-7738-6875
Steidel, Charles0000-0002-4834-7260
Trainor, Ryan0000-0002-6967-7322
Moore, Anna0000-0002-2894-6936
Ceverino, Daniel0000-0002-8680-248X
Primack, Joel0000-0001-5091-5098
Rizzi, Luca0000-0003-0882-2327
Alternate Title:Multi-Filament Inflows Fuel Young Star Forming Galaxies
Additional Information:© 2019 Springer Nature Publishing AG. Received 07 March 2019. Accepted 25 April 2019. Published 01 July 2019. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation, the W. M. Keck Observatory and the California Institute of Technology. The VELA simulations were performed at NASA Advanced Supercomputing at NASA Ames Research Center. D.C. is funded by the ERC Advanced Grant, STARLIGHT: Formation of the First Stars (project number 339177). Author Contributions: D.C.M. is the Principal Investigator of KCWI, performed the analysis of the simulated galaxy, data and MFI models, and was principal author on the paper. D.O. and D.C.M. led the observations of UM287 and CSO 38. D.O. and M.M. reduced the data. D.O., M.M. and E.H. contributed to the paper writing. P.M., M.M., D.C.M., J.D.N., D.O. and A.M. designed, constructed and operated KCWI. J.D.N., M.M. and D.C.M. developed the KCWI data pipeline and produced the final data cubes. D.C. developed the VELA simulations. A.D. and S.L. provided the simulated galaxy VELA07 and contributed to the writing of the paper. D.C. and J.P. contributed the cosmological simulation. C.S., R.T., S.C. and J.X.P. contributed to the development of KCWI, to Keck data for the two protogalaxies, and to the editing of the paper. L.R. made major contributions to KCWI commissioning and participated in the observations of CSO 38. Data availability: KCWI data on CSO38 and UM287 is publicly available. Data on UM287 will be available 18 months after the observation in Oct 2017. The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request. Code availability: KCWI pipeline code is available on the W. M. Keck Observatory website. The authors declare no competing interests.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory, Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
W. M. Keck ObservatoryUNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)339177
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190424-101356136
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:94914
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:26 Apr 2019 21:45
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:08

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