Studying the Warm Hot Intergalactic Medium in emission: a reprise

G. Parimbelli, E. Branchini, M. Viel, F. Villaescusa-Navarro, J. ZuHone

Submitted on 1 September 2022


The Warm-Hot Intergalactic Medium (WHIM) is believed to host a significant fraction of the ``missing baryons'' in the nearby Universe. Its signature has been detected in the X-ray absorption spectra of distant quasars. However, its detection in emission, that would allow us to study the WHIM in a systematic way, is still lacking. Motivated by the possibility to perform these studies with next generation integral field spectrometers, and thanks to the availability of a large suite of state-of-the-art hydrodynamic simulations -- the CAMELS suite -- we study here in detail the emission properties of the WHIM and the possibility to infer its physical properties with upcoming X-ray missions like Athena. We focused on the two most prominent WHIM emission lines, the OVII triplet and the OVIII singlet, and build line surface brightness maps in a lightcone, mimicking a data cube generated through integral field spectroscopy. We confirm that detectable WHIM emission, even with next generation instruments, is largely associated to galaxy-size dark matter halos and that the WHIM properties evolve little from z0.5 to now. Some characteristics of the WHIM, like the line number counts as a function of their brightness, depend on the specific hydrodynamic simulation used, while others, like the WHIM clustering properties, are robust to this aspect. The large number of simulations available in the CAMELS datasets allows us to assess the sensitivity of the WHIM properties to the background cosmology and to the energy feedback mechanisms regulated by AGN and stellar activity. [ABRIDGED]


Comment: 23 pages, 17 figures, 3 tables

Subject: Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics