Warm–hot intergalactic medium
The warm–hot intergalactic medium (WHIM) refers to a sparse, warm-to-hot (105 to 107 K) plasma that cosmologists believe to exist in the spaces between galaxies and to contain 40–50% of the baryons (that is, 'normal matter' which exists as plasma or as atoms and molecules, in contrast to dark matter) in the universe at the current epoch. Because of the high temperature of the medium, the expectation is that it is most easily observed from the ultraviolet and low energy X-ray emission.
Within the WHIM, gas shocks are created as a result of active galactic nuclei, along with the gravitationally-driven processes of merging and accretion. Part of the gravitational energy supplied by these effects is converted into thermal emissions of the matter by collisionless shock heating.
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- Bykov, A. M.; Paerels, F. B. S.; Petrosian, V. (February 2008), "Equilibration Processes in the Warm-Hot Intergalactic Medium", Space Science Reviews, 134 (1–4): 141–153, arXiv:, Bibcode:2008SSRv..134..141B, doi:10.1007/s11214-008-9309-4
- Reimers, D. (2002), "Baryons in the diffuse intergalactic medium", Space Science Reviews, 100 (1/4): 89, Bibcode:2002SSRv..100...89R, doi:10.1023/A:1015861926654
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