Fountain-driven gas accretion feeding star formation over the disc of NGC 2403

Anqi Li*, Filippo Fraternali*, Antonino Marasco, Scott C. Trager, Gabriele Pezzulli, Pavel E. Mancera Piña, Marc A. W. Verheijen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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We use a dynamical model of galactic fountain to study the neutral extraplanar gas (EPG) in the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 2403. We have modelled the EPG as a combination of material ejected from the disc by stellar feedback (i.e. galactic fountain) and gas accreting from the inner circumgalactic medium (CGM). This accretion is expected to occur because of cooling/condensation of the hot CGM (corona) triggered by the fountain. Our dynamical model reproduces the distribution and kinematics of the EPG H I emission in NGC 2403 remarkably well and suggests a total EPG mass of $4.7^{+1.2}_{-0.9}\times 10^8\, \mathrm{M_\odot }$, with a typical scale height of around 1 kpc and a vertical gradient of the rotation velocity of $-10.0\pm 2.7\, \mathrm{km\, s^{-1}\, kpc^{-1}}$. The best-fitting model requires a characteristic outflow velocity of $50\pm 10\, \mathrm{km\, s^{-1}}$. The outflowing gas starts out mostly ionized and only becomes neutral later in the trajectory. The accretion rate from the condensation of the inner hot CGM inferred by the model is 0.8 $\mathrm{M}_\odot \, \mathrm{yr}^{-1}$, approximately equal to the star-formation rate in this galaxy (0.6 $\mathrm{M}_\odot \, \mathrm{yr}^{-1}$). We show that the accretion profile, which peaks at a radius of about 4.5 kpc, predicts a disc growth rate compatible with the observed value. Our results indicate that fountain-driven corona condensation is a likely mechanism to sustain star formation, as well as the disc inside-out growth in local disc galaxies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-160
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Publication statusPublished - 1-Mar-2023


  • ISM: kinematics and dynamics
  • ISM: structure
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: haloes
  • galaxies: ISM
  • galaxies: intergalactic medium
  • Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies

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