skip to main content

Title: The MOSDEF survey: the mass–metallicity relationship and the existence of the FMR at z ∼ 1.5
ABSTRACT We analyse the rest-optical emission-line ratios of z ∼ 1.5 galaxies drawn from the Multi-Object Spectrometer for Infra-Red Exploration Deep Evolution Field (MOSDEF) survey. Using composite spectra, we investigate the mass–metallicity relation (MZR) at z ∼ 1.5 and measure its evolution to z = 0. When using gas-phase metallicities based on the N2 line ratio, we find that the MZR evolution from z ∼ 1.5 to z = 0 depends on stellar mass, evolving by $\Delta \rm log(\rm O/H) \sim 0.25$ dex at M*< $10^{9.75}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$ down to $\Delta \rm log(\rm O/H) \sim 0.05$ at M* ≳ $10^{10.5}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$. In contrast, the O3N2-based MZR shows a constant offset of $\Delta \rm log(\rm O/H) \sim 0.30$ across all masses, consistent with previous MOSDEF results based on independent metallicity indicators, and suggesting that O3N2 provides a more robust metallicity calibration for our z ∼ 1.5 sample. We investigated the secondary dependence of the MZR on star formation rate (SFR) by measuring correlated scatter about the mean M*-specific SFR and M*−$\log (\rm O3N2)$ relations. We find an anticorrelation between $\log (\rm O/H)$ and sSFR offsets, indicating the presence of a M*−SFR−Z relation, though with limited significance. Additionally, we find that our z ∼ 1.5 more » stacks lie along the z = 0 metallicity sequence at fixed μ = log (M*/M⊙) − 0.6 × $\log (\rm SFR / M_{\odot } \, yr^{-1})$ suggesting that the z ∼ 1.5 stacks can be described by the z = 0 fundamental metallicity relation (FMR). However, using different calibrations can shift the calculated metallicities off of the local FMR, indicating that appropriate calibrations are essential for understanding metallicity evolution with redshift. Finally, understanding how [N ii]/H α scales with galaxy properties is crucial to accurately describe the effects of blended [N ii] and H α on redshift and H α fiux measurements in future large surveys utilizing low-resolution spectra such as with Euclid and the Roman Space Telescope. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
2009313 2009085
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10336563
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume:
506
Issue:
1
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1237 to 1249
ISSN:
0035-8711
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. ABSTRACT

    We present detections of [O iii] λ4363 and direct-method metallicities for star-forming galaxies at z = 1.7–3.6. We combine new measurements from the MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field (MOSDEF) survey with literature sources to construct a sample of 18 galaxies with direct-method metallicities at z > 1, spanning 7.5 < 12+log(O/H) < 8.2 and log(M*/M⊙) = 7–10. We find that strong-line calibrations based on local analogues of high-redshift galaxies reliably reproduce the metallicity of the z > 1 sample on average. We construct the first mass–metallicity relation at z > 1 based purely on direct-method O/H, finding a slope that is consistent with strong-line results. Direct-method O/H evolves by ≲0.1 dex at fixed M* and star formation rate from z ∼ 0 to 2.2. We employ photoionization models to constrain the ionization parameter and ionizing spectrum in the high-redshift sample. Stellar models with supersolar O/Fe and binary evolution of massive stars are required to reproduce the observed strong-line ratios. We find that the z > 1 sample falls on the z ∼ 0 relation between ionization parameter and O/H, suggesting no evolution of this relation from z ∼ 0 to z ∼ 2. These results suggest that the offset of the strong-line ratios of this sample from local excitation sequences is driven primarilymore »by a harder ionizing spectrum at fixed nebular metallicity compared to what is typical at z ∼ 0, naturally explained by supersolar O/Fe at high redshift caused by rapid formation time-scales. Given the extreme nature of our z > 1 sample, the implications for representative z ∼ 2 galaxy samples at ∼1010 M⊙ are unclear, but similarities to z > 6 galaxies suggest that these conclusions can be extended to galaxies in the epoch of reionization.

    « less
  2. ABSTRACT

    The relationships between stellar mass, gas-phase metallicity and star-formation rate (i.e. the mass–metallicity, MZR, and the fundamental metallicity relation, FMR) in the local Universe are revisited by fully anchoring the metallicity determination for SDSS galaxies on the Te abundance scale defined exploiting the strong-line metallicity calibrations presented by Curti et al. Self-consistent metallicity measurements allow a more unbiased assessment of the scaling relations involving M, Z and SFR, which provide powerful constraints for the chemical evolution models. We parametrize the MZR with a new functional form that allows us to better characterize the turnover mass. The slope and saturation metallicity are in good agreement with previous determinations of the MZR based on the Te method, while showing significantly lower normalization compared to those based on photoionization models. The Z–SFR dependence at fixed stellar mass is also investigated, being particularly evident for highly star-forming galaxies, where the scatter in metallicity is reduced up to a factor of ${\sim}30{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$. A new parametrization of the FMR is given by explicitly introducing the SFR dependence of the turnover mass into the MZR. The residual scatter in metallicity for the global galaxy population around the new FMR is 0.054 dex. The newmore »FMR presented in this work represents a useful local benchmark to compare theoretical predictions and observational studies (of both local and high-redshift galaxies) whose metallicity measurements are tied to the abundance scale defined by the Te method, hence allowing proper assessment of its evolution with cosmic time.

    « less
  3. ABSTRACT

    We present 10 main-sequence ALPINE galaxies (log (M/M⊙) = 9.2−11.1 and ${\rm SFR}=23-190\, {\rm M_{\odot }\, yr^{-1}}$) at z ∼ 4.5 with optical [O ii] measurements from Keck/MOSFIRE spectroscopy and Subaru/MOIRCS narrow-band imaging. This is the largest such multiwavelength sample at these redshifts, combining various measurements in the ultraviolet, optical, and far-infrared including [C ii]158 $\mu$m line emission and dust continuum from ALMA and H α emission from Spitzer photometry. For the first time, this unique sample allows us to analyse the relation between [O ii] and total star-formation rate (SFR) and the interstellar medium (ISM) properties via [O ii]/[C ii] and [O ii]/H α luminosity ratios at z ∼ 4.5. The [O ii]−SFR relation at z ∼ 4.5 cannot be described using standard local descriptions, but is consistent with a metal-dependent relation assuming metallicities around $50{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ solar. To explain the measured dust-corrected luminosity ratios of $\log (L_{\rm [OII]}/L_{\rm [CII]}) \sim 0.98^{+0.21}_{-0.22}$ and $\log (L_{\rm [OII]}/L_{\rm H\alpha }) \sim -0.22^{+0.13}_{-0.15}$ for our sample, ionization parameters log (U) < −2 and electron densities $\log (\rm n_e / {\rm [cm^{-3}]}) \sim 2.5-3$ are required. The former is consistent with galaxies at z ∼ 2−3, however lower than at z > 6. The latter may be slightly higher than expected given the galaxies’ specific SFR. Themore »analysis of this pilot sample suggests that typical log (M/M⊙) > 9 galaxies at z ∼ 4.5 to have broadly similar ISM properties as their descendants at z ∼ 2 and suggest a strong evolution of ISM properties since the epoch of reionization at z > 6.

    « less
  4. ABSTRACT We revisit the question of ‘hot mode’ versus ‘cold mode’ accretion on to galaxies using steady-state cooling flow solutions and idealized 3D hydrodynamic simulations. We demonstrate that for the hot accretion mode to exist, the cooling time is required to be longer than the free-fall time near the radius where the gas is rotationally supported, Rcirc, i.e. the existence of the hot mode depends on physical conditions at the galaxy scale rather than on physical conditions at the halo scale. When allowing for the depletion of the halo baryon fraction relative to the cosmic mean, the longer cooling times imply that a virialized gaseous halo may form in halo masses below the threshold of $\sim 10^{12}\, {\rm M_{\odot }}$ derived for baryon-complete haloes. We show that for any halo mass there is a maximum accretion rate for which the gas is virialized throughout the halo and can accrete via the hot mode of ${\dot{M}}_{\rm crit}\approx 0.7(v_{\rm c}/100\, \rm km\ s^{-1})^{5.4}(R_{\rm circ}/10\, {\rm kpc})(Z/\, {\rm Z_{\odot }})^{-0.9}\, {\rm M_{\odot }}\, {\rm yr}^{-1}$, where Z and vc are the metallicity and circular velocity measured at Rcirc. For accretion rates $\gtrsim {\dot{M}}_{\rm crit}$ the volume-filling gas phase can in principle be ‘transonic’ –more »virialized in the outer halo but cool and free-falling near the galaxy. We compare ${\dot{M}}_{\rm crit}$ to the average star formation rate (SFR) in haloes at 0 < z < 10 implied by the stellar-mass–halo-mass relation. For a plausible metallicity evolution with redshift, we find that ${\rm SFR}\lesssim {\dot{M}}_{\rm crit}$ at most masses and redshifts, suggesting that the SFR of galaxies could be primarily sustained by the hot mode in halo masses well below the classic threshold of $\sim 10^{12}\, {\rm M_{\odot }}$.« less
  5. ABSTRACT The observed empirical relation between the star formation rates (SFR) of low-redshift galaxies and their radio continuum luminosity offers a potential means of measuring SFR in high-redshift galaxies that is unaffected by dust obscuration. In this study, we make the first test for redshift evolution in the SFR-radio continuum relation at high redshift using dust-corrected H α SFR. Our sample consists of 178 galaxies from the MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field (MOSDEF) Survey at 1.4 < z < 2.6 with rest-frame optical spectroscopy and deep 1.5 GHz radio continuum observations from the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) GOODS North field. Using a stacking analysis, we compare the observed radio continuum luminosities with those predicted from the dust-corrected H α SFR assuming a range of z ∼ 0 relations. We find no evidence for a systematic evolution with redshift, when stacking the radio continuum as a function of dust-corrected H α SFR and when stacking both optical spectroscopy and radio continuum as a function of stellar mass. We conclude that locally calibrated relations between SFR and radio continuum luminosity remain valid out to z ∼ 2.