Monday 6/18/2012

Paper 1:

The Gas-Phase Metallicity of Central and Satellite Galaxies in the SDSS

Anna Pasquali, Anna Gallazzi, Frank C. van den Bosch
(Submitted on 15 Jun 2012)

We exploit the SDSS galaxy groups catalogue of Yang et al. to study how the gas-phase metallicities of star-forming galaxies depend on environment. We find that satellite and central galaxies follow a qualitatively similar stellar mass (M_*) – gas-phase metallicity relation. Satellites, though, have higher gas-phase metallicities than equally massive centrals, and this difference increases with decreasing M_*. We also find that the gas-phase metallicity of satellites increases with halo mass at fixed stellar mass. This increment is more pronounced for less massive galaxies. We also show that low mass satellite galaxies have higher gas-phase metallicities than central galaxies of the same stellar metallicity. This difference becomes negligible for more massive galaxies of roughly solar metallicity. We demonstrate that the observed differences in gas-phase metallicity between centrals and satellites at fixed M_* are not a consequence of stellar mass stripping (advocated by Pasquali et al. in order to explain similar differences but in stellar metallicity), nor to the past star formation history of these galaxies as quantified by their surface mass density or gas mass fraction. Rather, we argue that these trends probably originate from a combination of three environmental effects: (i) strangulation, which prevents satellite galaxies from accreting new, low metallicity gas which would otherwise dilute their ISM, (ii) ram-pressure stripping of the outer gas disk, thereby inhibiting radial inflows of low-metallicity gas, and (iii) external pressure provided by the hot gas of the host halo which prevents metal-enriched outflows from escaping the galaxies. [abridged]

Comments: 16 pages, 13 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)
Cite as: arXiv:1206.3458v1 [astro-ph.CO]

Paper 2:

Properties of Nearby Starburst Galaxies Based on their Diffuse Gamma-ray Emission

T. A. D. Paglione, R. D. Abrahams
(Submitted on 15 Jun 2012)

The physical relationship between the far-infrared and radio fluxes of star forming galaxies has yet to be definitively determined. The favored interpretation, the “calorimeter model,” requires that supernova generated cosmic ray (CR) electrons cool rapidly via synchrotron radiation. However, this cooling should steepen their radio spectra beyond what is observed, and so enhanced ionization losses at low energies from high gas densities are also required. Further, evaluating the minimum energy magnetic field strength with the traditional scaling of the synchrotron flux may underestimate the true value in massive starbursts if their magnetic energy density is comparable to the hydrostatic pressure of their disks. Gamma-ray spectra of starburst galaxies, combined with radio data, provide a less ambiguous estimate of these physical properties in starburst nuclei. While the radio flux is most sensitive to the magnetic field, the GeV gamma-ray spectrum normalization depends primarily on gas density. To this end, spectra above 100 MeV were constructed for two nearby starburst galaxies, NGC 253 and M82, using Fermi data. Their nuclear radio and far-infrared spectra from the literature are compared to new models of the steady-state CR distributions expected from starburst galaxies. Models with high magnetic fields, favoring galaxy calorimetry, are overall better fits to the observations. These solutions also imply relatively high densities and CR ionization rates, consistent with molecular cloud studies.

Comments: Accepted to ApJ
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)
Cite as: arXiv:1206.3530v1 [astro-ph.HE]
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