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  The MOSDEF Survey: Neon as a probe of ISM physical conditions at high redshift

Jeong, M.-S., Shapley, A. E., Sanders, R. L., Runco, J. N., Topping, M. W., Reddy, N. A., et al. (2020). The MOSDEF Survey: Neon as a probe of ISM physical conditions at high redshift. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 902(1): L16. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/abba7a.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-8BBB-A Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-8BBC-9
Genre: Journal Article

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Jeong, Moon-Seong, Author
Shapley, Alice E., Author
Sanders, Ryan L., Author
Runco, Jordan N., Author
Topping, Michael W., Author
Reddy, Naveen A., Author
Kriek, Mariska, Author
Coil, Alison L., Author
Mobasher, Bahram, Author
Siana, Brian, Author
Shivaei, Irene, Author
Freeman, William R., Author
Azadi, Mojegan, Author
Price, Sedona H.1, Author              
Leung, Gene C. K., Author
Fetherolf, Tara, Author
de Groot, Laura, Author
Zick, Tom, Author
Fornasini, Francesca M., Author
Barro, Guillermo, Author
Affiliations:
1Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society, ou_159889              

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 Abstract: We present results on the properties of neon emission in z ~ 2 star-forming galaxies drawn from the MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field (MOSDEF) survey. Doubly ionized neon ([Ne iii]λ3869) is detected at ≥3σ in 61 galaxies, representing ~25% of the MOSDEF sample with Hα, Hβ, and [O iii]λ5007 detections at similar redshifts. We consider the neon emission-line properties of both individual galaxies with [Ne iii]λ3869 detections and composite z ~ 2 spectra binned by stellar mass. With no requirement of [Ne iii]λ3869 detection, the latter provide a more representative picture of neon emission-line properties in the MOSDEF sample. The [Ne iii]λ3869/[O ii]λ3727 ratio (Ne3O2) is anticorrelated with stellar mass in z ~ 2 galaxies, as expected based on the mass–metallicity relation. It is also positively correlated with the [O iii]λ5007/[O ii]λ3727 ratio (O32), but z ~ 2 line ratios are offset toward higher Ne3O2 at fixed O32, compared with both local star-forming galaxies and individual H ii regions. Despite the offset toward higher Ne3O2 at fixed O32 at z ~ 2, biases in inferred Ne3O2-based metallicity are small. Accordingly, Ne3O2 may serve as an important metallicity indicator deep into the reionization epoch. Analyzing additional rest-optical line ratios including [Ne iii]λ3869/[O iii]λ5007 (Ne3O3) and [O iii]λ5007/Hβ (O3Hβ), we conclude that the nebular emission-line ratios of z ~ 2 star-forming galaxies suggest a harder ionizing spectrum (lower stellar metallicity, i.e., Fe/H) at fixed gas-phase oxygen abundance, compared to systems at z ~ 0. These new results based on neon lend support to the physical picture painted by oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and sulfur emission of an ionized interstellar medium in high-redshift star-forming galaxies irradiated by chemically young, α-enhanced massive stars.

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 Dates: 2020-10-08
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3847/2041-8213/abba7a
Other: LOCALID: 3270738
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Title: The Astrophysical Journal Letters
  Other : Astrophys. J. Lett.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Chicago, IL : University of Chicago Press for the American Astronomical Society
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 902 (1) Sequence Number: L16 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 2041-8205
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922828215