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Title: EXPLORING THE CHEMICAL LINK BETWEEN LOCAL ELLIPTICALS AND THEIR HIGH-REDSHIFT PROGENITORS

We present Keck/MOSFIRE K-band spectroscopy of the first mass-selected sample of galaxies at z ∼ 2.3. Targets are selected from the 3D-Hubble Space Telescope Treasury survey. The six detected galaxies have a mean [N II]λ6584/Hα ratio of 0.27 ± 0.01, with a small standard deviation of 0.05. This mean value is similar to that of UV-selected galaxies of the same mass. The mean gas-phase oxygen abundance inferred from the [N II]/Hα ratios depends on the calibration method, and ranges from 12+log(O/H){sub gas} = 8.57 for the Pettini and Pagel calibration to 12+log(O/H){sub gas} = 8.87 for the Maiolino et al. calibration. Measurements of the stellar oxygen abundance in nearby quiescent galaxies with the same number density indicate 12+log(O/H){sub stars} = 8.95, similar to the gas-phase abundances of the z ∼ 2.3 galaxies if the Maiolino et al. calibration is used. This suggests that these high-redshift star forming galaxies may be progenitors of today's massive early-type galaxies. The main uncertainties are the absolute calibration of the gas-phase oxygen abundance and the incompleteness of the z ∼ 2.3 sample: the galaxies with detected Hα tend to be larger and have higher star formation rates than the galaxies without detected Hα, and we may stillmore » be missing the most dust-obscured progenitors.« less
Authors:
; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ; ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [9] ;  [10] ;  [11]
  1. Department of Astronomy, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States)
  2. European Southern Observatory, Alonson de Córdova 3107, Casilla 19001, Vitacura, Santiago (Chile)
  3. South African Astronomical Observatory, Observatory Road, Cape Town (South Africa)
  4. Astrophysics Science Division, Goddard Space Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)
  5. Department of Astronomy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States)
  6. Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9513, NL 2300 RA, Leiden (Netherlands)
  7. Astronomy Department, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)
  8. Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany)
  9. Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)
  10. Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA (United States)
  11. Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse, D-85748 Garching (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364123
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 778; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABUNDANCE; ASTRONOMY; ASTROPHYSICS; CALIBRATION; COSMIC DUST; DENSITY; ELEMENT ABUNDANCE; EMISSION SPECTROSCOPY; GALAXIES; MASS; OXYGEN; RED SHIFT; SPACE; STARS; TELESCOPES