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  xCOLD GASS and xGASS: Radial metallicity gradients and global properties on the star-forming main sequence

Lutz, K. A., Saintonge, A., Catinella, B., Cortese, L., Eisenhauer, F., Kramer, C., et al. (2021). xCOLD GASS and xGASS: Radial metallicity gradients and global properties on the star-forming main sequence. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 649: A39. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/202038961.

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Lutz, K. A.1, Author           
Saintonge, A., Author
Catinella, B., Author
Cortese, L., Author
Eisenhauer, F., Author
Kramer, C., Author
Moran, S. M., Author
Tacconi, L. J.2, Author           
Vollmer, B., Author
Wang, J., Author
Affiliations:
1High Energy Astrophysics, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society, ou_159890              
2Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society, ou_159889              

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 Abstract: Context. The xGASS and xCOLD GASS surveys have measured the atomic (H I) and molecular gas (H2) content of a large and representative sample of nearby galaxies (redshift range of 0.01 < z < 0.05). Methods. We present optical longslit spectra for a subset of the xGASS and xCOLD GASS galaxies to investigate the correlation between radial metallicity profiles and cold gas content. In addition to previous data, this paper presents new optical spectra for 27 galaxies in the stellar mass range of 9.0 ≤ log M [M] ≤10.0. Methods. The longslit spectra were taken along the major axis of the galaxies, allowing us to obtain radial profiles of the gas-phase oxygen abundance (12 + log(O/H)). The slope of a linear fit to these radial profiles is defined as the metallicity gradient. We investigated correlations between these gradients and global galaxy properties, such as star formation activity and gas content. In addition, we examined the correlation of local metallicity measurements and the global H I mass fraction. Results. We obtained two main results: (i) the local metallicity is correlated with the global H I mass fraction, which is in good agreement with previous results. A simple toy model suggests that this correlation points towards a ‘local gas regulator model’; (ii) the primary driver of metallicity gradients appears to be stellar mass surface density (as a proxy for morphology). Conclusions. This work comprises one of the few systematic observational studies of the influence of the cold gas on the chemical evolution of star-forming galaxies, as considered via metallicity gradients and local measurements of the gas-phase oxygen abundance. Our results suggest that local density and local H I mass fraction are drivers of chemical evolution and the gas-phase metallicity.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-07-17
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/202038961
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Title: Astronomy and Astrophysics
  Other : Astron. Astrophys.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: France : EDP Sciences S A
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 649 Sequence Number: A39 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1432-0746
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922828219_1