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Magellan/MMIRS near-infrared multi-object spectroscopy of nebular emission from star-forming galaxies at 2 < z < 3
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy. Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC).
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2013 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 551, A93- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims. To investigate the ingredients, which allow star-forming galaxies to present Ly alpha line in emission, we studied the kinematics and gas phase metallicity of the interstellar medium. Methods. We used multi-object near-infrared spectroscopy with Magellan/MMIRS to study nebular emission from z similar or equal to 2-3 star-forming galaxies discovered in three MUSYC fields. Results. We detected emission lines from four active galactic nuclei and 13 high-redshift star-forming galaxies, including H alpha lines down to a flux of (4 +/- 1)E-17 erg s(-1) cm(-2). This yielded seven new redshifts. The most common emission line detected is [OIII]5007, which is sensitive to metallicity. We were able to measure metallicity (Z) for two galaxies and to set upper (lower) limits for another two (two). The metallicity values are consistent with 0.3 < Z/Z(circle dot) < 1.2, 12 + log (O/H) similar to 8.2-8.8. Comparing the Ly alpha central wavelength with the systemic redshift, we find Delta(vLy alpha-[OIII]5007) = 70 270 km s(-1). Conclusions. High-redshift star-forming galaxies, Ly alpha emitting (LAE) galaxies, and H alpha emitters appear to be located in the low mass, high star-formation rate (SFR) region of the SFR versus stellar mass diagram, confirming that they are experiencing burst episodes of star formation, which are building up their stellar mass. Their metallicities are consistent with the relation found for z <= 2.2 galaxies in the Z versus stellar mass plane. The measured Delta(vLy alpha[OIII]5007) values imply that outflows of material, driven by star formation, could be present in the z similar to 2 3 LAEs of our sample. Comparing with the literature, we note that galaxies with lower metallicity than ours are also characterized by similar Delta(vLy alpha[OIII]5007) velocity off sets. Strong F([OIII]5007) is detected in many Ly alpha emitters. Therefore, we propose the F(Ly alpha)/F([OIII]5007) flux ratio as a tool for the study of high-redshift galaxies; while influenced by metallicity, ionization, and Ly alpha radiative transfer in the ISM, it may be possible to calibrate this ratio to primarily trace one of these effects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 551, A93- p.
Keyword [en]
techniques: spectroscopic, galaxies: high-redshift, galaxies: star formation
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89724DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201220013ISI: 000316460600093OAI: diva2:620207


Available from: 2013-05-08 Created: 2013-05-06 Last updated: 2013-05-08Bibliographically approved

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Guaita, LuciaÖstlin, Göran
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Department of AstronomyThe Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC)
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