Astrophys. J., 862, 110-110 (2018/August-1)
The metallicity dependence of the H I shielding layers in nearby galaxies.
SCHRUBA A., BIALY S. and STERNBERG A.
Abstract (from CDS):
We investigate the metallicity dependence of H I surface densities in star-forming regions along many lines of sight within 70 nearby galaxies, probing kiloparsec to 50 pc scales. We employ H I, SFR, stellar mass, and metallicity (gradient) measurements from the literature, spanning a wide range (5 dex) in stellar and gas mass and (1.6 dex) in metallicity. We consider metallicities as observed, or rescaled to match the mass-metallicity relation determined for SDSS galaxies. At intermediate to high metallicities (0.3-2 times solar), we find that the H I surface densities saturate at sufficiently large total gas surface density. The maximal H I columns vary approximately inversely with metallicity, and show little variation with spatial resolution, galactocentric radius, or among galaxies. In the central parts of massive spiral galaxies, the H I gas is depressed by factors of ∼ 2. The observed behavior is naturally reproduced by metallicity dependent shielding theories for the H I-to-H2 transitions in star-forming galaxies. We show that the inverse scaling of the maximal H I columns with metallicity suggests that the area filling fraction of atomic-molecular complexes in galaxies is of the order of unity, and weakly dependent on metallicity.
© 2018. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
galaxies: ISM - ISM: atoms - ISM: molecules - radio lines: galaxies
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<Available at CDS (J/ApJ/862/110): table1.dat>
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