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Journal Article

The MOSDEF survey: the mass–metallicity relationship and the existence of the FMR at z ∼ 1.5


Price,  Sedona H.
Infrared and Submillimeter Astronomy, MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Topping, M. W., Shapley, A. E., Sanders, R. L., Kriek, M., Reddy, N. A., Coil, A. L., et al. (2021). The MOSDEF survey: the mass–metallicity relationship and the existence of the FMR at z ∼ 1.5. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 506(1), 1237-1249. doi:10.1093/mnras/stab1793.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-A04E-B
We analyse the rest-optical emission-line ratios of z ∼ 1.5 galaxies drawn from the Multi-Object Spectrometer for Infra-Red Exploration Deep Evolution Field (MOSDEF) survey. Using composite spectra, we investigate the mass–metallicity relation (MZR) at z ∼ 1.5 and measure its evolution to z = 0. When using gas-phase metallicities based on the N2 line ratio, we find that the MZR evolution from z ∼ 1.5 to z = 0 depends on stellar mass, evolving by Δlog(O/H)∼0.25 dex at M*< 109.75 M down to Δlog(O/H)∼0.05 at M* ≳ 1010.5M⁠. In contrast, the O3N2-based MZR shows a constant offset of Δlog(O/H)∼0.30 across all masses, consistent with previous MOSDEF results based on independent metallicity indicators, and suggesting that O3N2 provides a more robust metallicity calibration for our z ∼ 1.5 sample. We investigated the secondary dependence of the MZR on star formation rate (SFR) by measuring correlated scatter about the mean M*-specific SFR and M*−log(O3N2) relations. We find an anticorrelation between log(O/H) and sSFR offsets, indicating the presence of a M*−SFR−Z relation, though with limited significance. Additionally, we find that our z ∼ 1.5 stacks lie along the z = 0 metallicity sequence at fixed μ = log (M*/M) − 0.6 × log(SFR/Myr−1) suggesting that the z ∼ 1.5 stacks can be described by the z = 0 fundamental metallicity relation (FMR). However, using different calibrations can shift the calculated metallicities off of the local FMR, indicating that appropriate calibrations are essential for understanding metallicity evolution with redshift. Finally, understanding how [N ii]/H α scales with galaxy properties is crucial to accurately describe the effects of blended [N ii] and H α on redshift and H α fiux measurements in future large surveys utilizing low-resolution spectra such as with Euclid and the Roman Space Telescope.