Wednesday 16th May 2012

Metallicities of Emission-Line Galaxies from HST ACS PEARS and HST WFC3 ERS Grism Spectroscopy at 0.6 < z < 2.4

arXiv:1205.3172

Authors

Lifang Xia, Sangeeta Malhotra, James Rhoads, Nor Pirzkal, Amber Straughn, Steven Finkelstein, Seth Cohen, Harald Kuntschner, Martin Kümmel, Jeremy Walsh, Rogier A. Windhorst, Robert O’Connell

Abstract

Galaxies selected on the basis of their emission line strength show low metallicities, regardless of their redshifts. We conclude this from a sample of faint galaxies at redshifts between 0.6 < z < 2.4, selected by their prominent emission lines in low-resolution grism spectra in the optical with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and in the near-infrared using Wide-Field Camera 3 (WFC3). Using a sample of 11 emission line galaxies (ELGs) at 0.6 < z < 2.4 with luminosities of -22 < M_B < -19, which have [OII], H\beta, and [OIII] line flux measurements from the combination of two grism spectral surveys, we use the R23 method to derive the gas-phase oxygen abundances: 7.5 < 12+log(O/H) < 8.5. The galaxy stellar masses are derived using Bayesian based Markov Chain Monte Carlo (\piMC^2) fitting of their Spectral Energy Distribution (SED), and span the mass range 8.1 < log(M_*/M_\sun) < 10.1. These galaxies show a mass-metallicity (M-L) and Luminosity-Metallicity (L-Z) relation, which is offset by –0.6 dex in metallicity at given absolute magnitude and stellar mass relative to the local SDSS galaxies, as well as continuum selected DEEP2 samples at similar redshifts. The emission-line selected galaxies most resemble the local "green peas" galaxies and Lyman-alpha galaxies at z~0.3 and z~2.3 in the M-Z and L-Z relations and their morphologies. The G-M_{20} morphology analysis shows that 10 out of 11 show disturbed morphology, even as the star-forming regions are compact. These galaxies may be intrinsically metal poor, being at early stages of formation, or the low metallicities may be due to gas infall and accretion due to mergers.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s