Astrophys. J., 893, 1-1 (2020/April-2)
A comparison of UV and optical metallicities in star-forming galaxies.
BYLER N., KEWLEY L.J., RIGBY J.R., ACHARYYA A., BERG D.A., BAYLISS M. and SHARON K.
Abstract (from CDS):
Our ability to study the properties of the interstellar medium in the earliest galaxies will rely on emission-line diagnostics at rest-frame ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths. In this work, we identify metallicity-sensitive diagnostics using UV emission lines. We compare UV-derived metallicities with standard, well-established optical metallicities using a sample of galaxies with rest-frame UV and optical spectroscopy. We find that the He2-O3C3 diagnostic (He II λ1640 Å/C III] λ1906,1909 Åversus [O III] λ1666 Å/C III] λ1906,9 Å) is a reliable metallicity tracer, particularly at low metallicity (12+log10(O/H)≤ 8), where stellar contributions are minimal. We find that the Si3-O3C3 diagnostic ([Si III] λ1883 Å/C III] λ1906 Åversus [O III] λ1666 Å/C III] λ1906,9 Å) is a reliable metallicity tracer, though with large scatter (0.2-0.3 dex), which we suggest is driven by variations in gas-phase abundances. We find that the C4-O3C3 diagnostic (C IV λ 1548,50 Å/[O III] λ 1666 Åversus [O III] λ 1666 Å/C III] λ 1906,9 Å) correlates poorly with optically derived metallicities. We discuss possible explanations for these discrepant metallicity determinations, including the hardness of the ionizing spectrum, contribution from stellar wind emission, and non-solar-scaled gas-phase abundances. Finally, we provide two new UV oxygen abundance diagnostics, calculated from polynomial fits to the model grid surface in the He2-O3C3 and Si3-O3C3 diagrams.
© 2020. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Metallicity - Ultraviolet astronomy - Emission line galaxies - Galaxy abundances - Massive stars
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