The large-scale distribution of ionized metals in IllustrisTNG

M. Celeste Artale, Markus Haider, Antonio D. Montero-Dorta, Mark Vogelsberger, Davide Martizzi, Paul Torrey, Simeon Bird, Lars Hernquist, Federico Marinacci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We study the intrinsic large-scale distribution and evolution of seven ionized metals in the IllustrisTNG magnetohydrodynamical cosmological simulation. We focus on the fractions of C ii, C iv, Mg ii, N v, Ne viii, O vi, and Si iv in different cosmic web structures (filaments, haloes, and voids) and gas phases (warm-hot intergalactic medium, hot, diffuse, and condensed gas) from z = 6 to z = 0. Our analysis provides a new perspective to the study of the distribution and evolution of baryons across cosmic time while offering new hints in the context of the well-known missing baryons problem. The cosmic web components are here identified using the local comoving dark matter density, which provides a simple but effective way of mapping baryons on large scales. Our results show that C ii and Mg ii are mostly located in condensed gas inside haloes in high-density and low-temperature star-forming regions (rho {rm gas}/bar{rho }{rm bar}gtrsim 10 3, and T pdbl 105 K). C iv and Si iv present similar evolution of their mass fractions in haloes and filaments across cosmic time. In particular, their mass budgets in haloes in condensed phase (rho {rm gas}/bar{rho }{rm bar}gtrsim 10 3, and T pdbl 105 K) are driven by gas cooling and star formation with a peak at z ∼2. Finally, our results confirm that O vi, Ne viii, and N v are good tracers of warm/hot and low-density gas at low redshift (rho {rm gas}/bar{rho }{rm bar}lesssim 10 3, and T pdbl 105 K), regions that are likely to contain most of the missing baryons in the local Universe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-412
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • dark matter
  • galaxies: haloes
  • hydrodynamics
  • intergalactic medium
  • large-scale structure of Universe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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