First predicted cosmic ray spectra, primary-to-secondary ratios, and ionization rates from MHD galaxy formation simulations

Philip F. Hopkins, Iryna S. Butsky, Georgia V. Panopoulou, Suoqing Ji, Eliot Quataert, Claude André Faucher-Giguère, Dušan Kereš

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present the first simulations evolving resolved spectra of cosmic rays (CRs) from MeV-TeV energies (including electrons, positrons, (anti)protons, and heavier nuclei), in live kinetic-magnetohydrodynamics galaxy simulations with star formation and feedback. We utilize new numerical methods including terms often neglected in historical models, comparing Milky Way analogues with phenomenological scattering coefficients ν to Solar-neighbourhood [Local interstellar medium (LISM)] observations (spectra, B/C, e+/e-, bar p , 10Be/9Be, ionization, and γ-rays). We show it is possible to reproduce observations with simple single-power-law injection and scattering coefficients (scaling with rigidity R), similar to previous (non-dynamical) calculations. We also find: (1) The circumgalactic medium in realistic galaxies necessarily imposes an ∼ 10 kpc CR scattering halo, influencing the required ν(R). (2) Increasing the normalization of ν(R) re-normalizes CR secondary spectra but also changes primary spectral slopes, owing to source distribution and loss effects. (3) Diffusive/turbulent reacceleration is unimportant and generally sub-dominant to gyroresonant/streaming losses, which are sub-dominant to adiabatic/convective terms dominated by ∼ 0.1-1\,∼ kpc turbulent/fountain motions. (4) CR spectra vary considerably across galaxies; certain features can arise from local structure rather than transport physics. (5) Systematic variation in CR ionization rates between LISM and molecular clouds (or Galactic position) arises naturally without invoking alternative sources. (6) Abundances of CNO nuclei require most CR acceleration occurs around when reverse shocks form in SNe, not in OB wind bubbles or later Sedov-Taylor stages of SNe remnants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3470-3514
Number of pages45
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume516
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • cosmic rays
  • galaxies: evolution
  • ISM: structure
  • methods: numerical
  • MHD
  • plasmas

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