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Title: Ultra-deep Keck/MOSFIRE Spectroscopic Observations of z ∼ 2 Galaxies: Direct Oxygen Abundances and Nebular Excitation Properties
Abstract

Using deep near-infrared Keck/MOSFIRE observations, we analyze the rest-optical spectra of eight star-forming galaxies in the COSMOS and GOODS-N fields. We reach integration times of ∼10 hr in the deepest bands, pushing the limits on current ground-based observational capabilities. The targets fall into two redshift bins, of five galaxies atz∼ 1.7 and three galaxies atz∼ 2.5, and were selected as likely to yield significant auroral-line detections. Even with long integration times, detection of the auroral lines remains challenging. We stack the spectra together into subsets based on redshift, improving the signal-to-noise ratio on the [Oiii]λ4364 auroral emission line and, in turn, enabling a direct measurement of the oxygen abundance for each stack. We compare these measurements to commonly employed strong-line ratios alongside measurements from the literature. We find that the stacks fall within the distribution ofz> 1 literature measurements, but a larger sample size is needed to robustly constrain the relationships between strong-line ratios and oxygen abundance at high redshift. We additionally report detections of [Oi]λ6302 for nine individual galaxies and composite spectra of 21 targets in the MOSFIRE pointings. We plot their line ratios on the [Oiii]λ5008/Hβversus [Oi]λ6302/Hαdiagnostic diagram, comparing our targets to local galaxies and Hiiregions. We find that the [Oi]/Hαratios in our sample of galaxies are consistent with being produced in gas ionized byα-enhanced massive stars, as has been previously inferred for rapidly forming galaxies at early cosmic times.

 
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NSF-PAR ID:
10472428
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Volume:
957
Issue:
2
ISSN:
0004-637X
Format(s):
Medium: X Size: Article No. 81
Size(s):
["Article No. 81"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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