Low Masses and High Redshifts : The Evolution of the Mass-Metallicity Relation
- McCarthy, Patrick
- October 4, 2013.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Additional Creators:
- Scarlata, Claudia
Bunker, Andrew J.
Colbert, James W.
Bedregal, Alejandro G.
Martin, Crystal L.
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- We present the first robust measurement of the high redshift mass-metallicity (MZ) relation at 10(exp 8) < M/Stellar Mass < or approx. 10(exp 10), obtained by stacking spectra of 83 emission-line galaxies with secure redshifts between 1.3 < or approx. z < or approx. 2.3. For these redshifts, infrared grism spectroscopy with the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 is sensitive to the R23 metallicity diagnostic: ([O II] (lambda)(lambda)3726, 3729 + [OIII] (lambda)(lambda)4959, 5007)/H(beta). Using spectra stacked in four mass quartiles, we find a MZ relation that declines significantly with decreasing mass, extending from 12+log(O/H) = 8.8 at M = 10(exp 9.8) Stellar Mass to 12+log(O/H)= 8.2 at M = 10(exp 8.2) Stellar Mass. After correcting for systematic offsets between metallicity indicators, we compare our MZ relation to measurements from the stacked spectra of galaxies with M > or approx. 10(exp 9.5) Stellar Mass and z approx. 2.3. Within the statistical uncertainties, our MZ relation agrees with the z approx. 2.3 result, particularly since our somewhat higher metallicities (by around 0.1 dex) are qualitatively consistent with the lower mean redshift (z = 1.76) of our sample. For the masses probed by our data, the MZ relation shows a steep slope which is suggestive of feedback from energy-driven winds, and a cosmological downsizing evolution where high mass galaxies reach the local MZ relation at earlier times. In addition, we show that our sample falls on an extrapolation of the star-forming main sequence (the SFR-M relation) at this redshift. This result indicates that grism emission-line selected samples do not have preferentially high star formation rates (SFRs). Finally, we report no evidence for evolution of the mass-metallicity-SFR plane; our stack-averaged measurements show excellent agreement with the local relation.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20140013347.
The Astrohysical Journal Letters; Volume 776; No. 2; L27.
- Copyright, Distribution under U.S. Government purpose rights.
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