The Circumgalactic Medium

The Circumgalactic Medium The gas surrounding galaxies outside their disks or interstellar medium and inside their virial radii is known as the circumgalactic medium (CGM). In recent years this component of galaxies has assumed an important role in our understanding of galaxy evolution owing to rapid advances in observational access to this diffuse, nearly invisible material. Observations and simulations of this component of galaxies suggest that it is a multiphase medium characterized by rich dynamics and complex ionization states. The CGM is a source for a galaxy's star-forming fuel, the venue for galactic feedback and recycling, and perhaps the key regulator of the galactic gas supply. We review our evolving knowledge of the CGM with emphasis on its mass, dynamical state, and coevolution with galaxies. Observations from all redshifts and from across the electromagnetic spectrum indicate that CGM gas has a key role in galaxy evolution. We summarize the state of this field and pose unanswered questions for future research. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics Annual Reviews

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright 2017 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
ISSN
0066-4146
eISSN
1545-4282
D.O.I.
10.1146/annurev-astro-091916-055240
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The gas surrounding galaxies outside their disks or interstellar medium and inside their virial radii is known as the circumgalactic medium (CGM). In recent years this component of galaxies has assumed an important role in our understanding of galaxy evolution owing to rapid advances in observational access to this diffuse, nearly invisible material. Observations and simulations of this component of galaxies suggest that it is a multiphase medium characterized by rich dynamics and complex ionization states. The CGM is a source for a galaxy's star-forming fuel, the venue for galactic feedback and recycling, and perhaps the key regulator of the galactic gas supply. We review our evolving knowledge of the CGM with emphasis on its mass, dynamical state, and coevolution with galaxies. Observations from all redshifts and from across the electromagnetic spectrum indicate that CGM gas has a key role in galaxy evolution. We summarize the state of this field and pose unanswered questions for future research.

Journal

Annual Review of Astronomy and AstrophysicsAnnual Reviews

Published: Aug 18, 2017

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