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The Influence of Galaxy Surface Brightness on the Mass–Metallicity Relation

Wu, Po-Feng and Kudritzki, Rolf-Peter and Tully, R. Brent and Neill, J. D. (2015) The Influence of Galaxy Surface Brightness on the Mass–Metallicity Relation. Astrophysical Journal, 810 (2). Art. No. 151. ISSN 0004-637X.

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We study the effect of surface brightness on the mass–metallicity relation using nearby galaxies whose gas content and metallicity profiles are available. Previous studies using fiber spectra indicated that lower surface brightness galaxies have systematically lower metallicities for their stellar mass, but the results were uncertain because of aperture effects. With stellar masses and surface brightnesses measured at Wide-field Infrared Explorer W1 and W2 bands, we re-investigate the surface brightness dependence with spatially resolved metallicity profiles and find similar results. We further demonstrate that the systematical difference cannot be explained by the gas content of galaxies. For two galaxies with similar stellar and gas masses, the one with lower surface brightness tends to have a lower metallicity. Using chemical evolution models, we investigate the inflow and outflow properties of galaxies of different masses and surface brightnesses. We find that, on average, high mass galaxies have lower inflow and outflow rates relative to the star formation rate. On the other hand, galaxies with a lower surface brightness experience stronger inflow than galaxies with a higher surface brightness of a similar mass. The surface brightness effect is more significant for low-mass galaxies. We discuss implications on the different inflow properties between low and high surface brightness galaxies, including star formation efficiency, environment, and mass assembly history.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Tully, R. Brent0000-0002-9291-1981
Neill, J. D.0000-0002-0466-1119
Additional Information:© 2015 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 June 15; accepted 2015 July 31; published 2015 September 9. R.P.K. acknowledges support by the National Science Foundation under grants AST-1108906 and AST-1008798. R.B.T. acknowledges support from the US National Science Foundation award AST09-08846 and NAA award NNX12AE70G. This publication makes use of data products from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), which is a joint project of the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We acknowledge the usage of the HyperLeda database ( This work makes use of data products from the SDSS. Funding for SDSS-III has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. The SDSS-III web site is~ P.F W. acknowledges the writing retreat of IfA students and postdocs, SWOOP, where part of the manuscript is written.
Group:Space Astrophysics Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Participating InstitutionsUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: abundances – galaxies: formation – galaxies: spiral
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20151027-121308658
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:61563
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:27 Oct 2015 20:58
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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