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Chemical abundances in a UV-selected sample of galaxies

Contini, Thierry and Treyer, Marie A. and Sullivan, Mark and Ellis, Richard S. (2002) Chemical abundances in a UV-selected sample of galaxies. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 330 (1). pp. 75-91. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1046/j.1365-8711.2002.05042.x.

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We discuss the chemical properties of a sample of UV-selected intermediate-redshift (0≲z≲0.4) galaxies in the context of their physical nature and star-formation history. This work represents an extension of our previous studies of the rest-frame UV-luminosity function (Treyer et al.) and the star-formation properties of the same sample (Sullivan et al.). We revisit the optical spectra of these galaxies and perform further emission-line measurements restricting the analysis to those spectra with the full set of emission lines required to derive chemical abundances. Our final sample consists of 68 galaxies with heavy-element abundance ratios and both UV and CCD B-band photometry. Diagnostics based on emission-line ratios show that all but one of the galaxies in our sample are powered by hot, young stars rather than by an AGN. Oxygen-to-hydrogen (O/H) and nitrogen-to-oxygen (N/O) abundance ratios are compared with those of various local and intermediate-redshift samples. Our UV-selected galaxies span a wide range of oxygen abundances, from ∼0.1 to 1 Z⊙, intermediate between low-mass H II galaxies and massive starburst nuclei. For a given oxygen abundance, most have strikingly low N/O values. Moreover, UV-selected and H II galaxies systematically deviate from the usual metallicity–luminosity relation in the sense of being more luminous by 2–3 mag. Adopting the ‘delayed-release’ chemical evolution model, we propose our UV-selected sources are observed at a special stage in their evolution, following a powerful starburst that enriched their ISM in oxygen and temporarily lowered their mass-to-light ratios. We discuss briefly the implications of our conclusions on the nature of similarly selected high-redshift galaxies.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Sullivan, Mark0000-0001-9053-4820
Ellis, Richard S.0000-0001-7782-7071
Additional Information:© 2002 RAS. Accepted 2001 October 11. Received 2001 October 4; in original form 2001 June 7. We thank R. Coziol, J. Köppen, A. Lancon, M. Mouhcine, and M. Pettini for very fruitful discussions and useful suggestions. T.C. and M.T. warmly acknowledge the hospitality of the Instituto National de Astrofisica Optica y Electronica (INAOE), Mexico, during the 2000 Guillermo Haro International Program for Advanced Studies in Astrophysics, during which this work was initiated.
Subject Keywords:galaxies: abundances, galaxies: evolution, galaxies: starburst, ultraviolet: galaxies
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200601-103013726
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Official Citation:Thierry Contini, Marie A. Treyer, Mark Sullivan, Richard S. Ellis, Chemical abundances in a UV-selected sample of galaxies, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 330, Issue 1, February 2002, Pages 75–91,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:103588
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:01 Jun 2020 20:50
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:23

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