The role of heating and enrichment in galaxy formation

Evan Scannapieco, Tom Broadhurst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


We show that the winds identified with high-redshift low-mass galaxies may strongly affect the formation of stars in more massive galaxies that form later. With three-dimensional realizations of a simple nonlinear growth model, we track gas shocking, metal enrichment, and cooling, together with dark halo formation. We show that outflows typically strip baryonic material out of previrialized intermediate-mass halos, suppressing star formation. More massive halos can trap the heated gas but collapse later, leading to a broad bimodal redshift distribution, with a larger characteristic mass and metallicity associated with the lower redshift peak. This scenario accounts for the observed bell-shaped luminosity function of early-type galaxies, explains the small number of Milky Way satellite galaxies relative to standard cold dark matter prescriptions, and provides a reasonable explanation for the lack of metal-poor stars in the solar neighborhood and the more general lack of low-metallicity stars in other massive galaxies relative to "closed-box" models of chemical enrichment. Heating of the intergalactic medium by early outflows should produce spectral distortions in the cosmic microwave background that will be measurable with the next generation of experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-45
Number of pages18
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: elliptical and lenticular, cD
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Galaxies: interactions
  • Large-scale structure of universe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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