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Black holes on FIRE: stellar feedback limits early feeding of galactic nuclei


Anglés-Alcázar, Daniel; Faucher-Giguère, Claude-André; Quataert, Eliot; Hopkins, Philip F; Feldmann, Robert; Torrey, Paul; Wetzel, Andrew; Kereš, Dušan (2017). Black holes on FIRE: stellar feedback limits early feeding of galactic nuclei. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Letters, 472(1):109-114.

Abstract

We introduce massive black holes (BHs) in the Feedback In Realistic Environments (FIRE) project and perform high-resolution cosmological hydrodynamic simulations of quasar-mass haloes [Mhalo(z = 2) ≈ 1012.5 M⊙] down to z = 1. These simulations model stellar feedback by supernovae, stellar winds and radiation, and BH growth using a gravitational torque-based prescription tied to the resolved properties of galactic nuclei. We do not include BH feedback. We show that early BH growth occurs through short (≲1 Myr) accretion episodes that can reach or even exceed the Eddington rate. In this regime, BH growth is limited by bursty stellar feedback continuously evacuating gas from galactic nuclei, and BHs remain undermassive in low-mass galaxies relative to the local MBH–Mbulgerelation. BH growth is more efficient at later times, when the nuclear stellar potential retains a significant gas reservoir, star formation becomes less bursty and galaxies settle into a more ordered state. BHs rapidly converge on to the observed scaling relations when the host reaches Mbulge ∼ 1010 M⊙. We show that resolving the effects of stellar feedback on the gas supply in the inner ∼100 pc of galaxies is necessary to accurately capture the growth of central BHs. Our simulations imply that bursty stellar feedback has important implications for BH–galaxy relations, AGN demographics and time variability, the formation of early quasars and massive BH mergers.

Abstract

We introduce massive black holes (BHs) in the Feedback In Realistic Environments (FIRE) project and perform high-resolution cosmological hydrodynamic simulations of quasar-mass haloes [Mhalo(z = 2) ≈ 1012.5 M⊙] down to z = 1. These simulations model stellar feedback by supernovae, stellar winds and radiation, and BH growth using a gravitational torque-based prescription tied to the resolved properties of galactic nuclei. We do not include BH feedback. We show that early BH growth occurs through short (≲1 Myr) accretion episodes that can reach or even exceed the Eddington rate. In this regime, BH growth is limited by bursty stellar feedback continuously evacuating gas from galactic nuclei, and BHs remain undermassive in low-mass galaxies relative to the local MBH–Mbulgerelation. BH growth is more efficient at later times, when the nuclear stellar potential retains a significant gas reservoir, star formation becomes less bursty and galaxies settle into a more ordered state. BHs rapidly converge on to the observed scaling relations when the host reaches Mbulge ∼ 1010 M⊙. We show that resolving the effects of stellar feedback on the gas supply in the inner ∼100 pc of galaxies is necessary to accurately capture the growth of central BHs. Our simulations imply that bursty stellar feedback has important implications for BH–galaxy relations, AGN demographics and time variability, the formation of early quasars and massive BH mergers.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:October 2017
Deposited On:09 Jan 2018 22:20
Last Modified:19 Aug 2018 12:09
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1745-3933
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/mnrasl/slx161
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDPP00P2_157591
  • : Project TitleAiming for the Parsec Scale - Star Formation and Feedback Processes in High Redshift Galaxies

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