skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: EVIDENCE OF VERY LOW METALLICITY AND HIGH IONIZATION STATE IN A STRONGLY LENSED, STAR-FORMING DWARF GALAXY AT z = 3.417

We investigate the gas-phase metallicity and Lyman continuum (LyC) escape fraction of a strongly gravitationally lensed, extreme emission-line galaxy at z = 3.417, J1000+0221S, recently discovered by the CANDELS team. We derive ionization- and metallicity-sensitive emission-line ratios from H+K band Large Binocular Telescope (LBT)/LUCI medium resolution spectroscopy. J1000+0221S shows high ionization conditions, as evidenced by its enhanced [O III]/[O II] and [O III]/Hβ ratios. Strong-line methods based on the available line ratios suggest that J1000+0221S is an extremely metal-poor galaxy, with a metallicity of 12+log (O/H) < 7.44 (Z < 0.05 Z {sub ☉}), placing it among the most metal-poor star-forming galaxies at z ≳ 3 discovered so far. In combination with its low stellar mass (2 × 10{sup 8} M {sub ☉}) and high star formation rate (5 M {sub ☉} yr{sup –1}), the metallicity of J1000+0221S is consistent with the extrapolation of the mass-metallicity relation traced by Lyman-break galaxies at z ≳ 3 to low masses, but it is 0.55 dex lower than predicted by the fundamental metallicity relation at z ≲ 2.5. These observations suggest a rapidly growing galaxy, possibly fed by massive accretion of pristine gas. Additionally, deep LBT/LBC photometry in the UGR bands are used to derive a limit to the LyC escape fraction, thus allowingmore » us to explore for the first time the regime of sub-L* galaxies at z > 3. We find a 1σ upper limit to the escape fraction of 23%, which adds a new observational constraint to recent theoretical models predicting that sub-L* galaxies at high-z have high escape fractions and thus are the responsible for the reionization of the universe.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;  [1] ; ;  [2]
  1. INAF—Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, via Frascati 33, I-00040 Monteporzio Catone, Roma (Italy)
  2. Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365805
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 788; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; EXTRAPOLATION; GALAXIES; GRAVITATIONAL LENSES; IONIZATION; LIMITING VALUES; LYMAN LINES; MASS; METALLICITY; METALS; OXYGEN IONS; PHOTOMETRY; PHOTON EMISSION; RED SHIFT; RESOLUTION; STARS; TELESCOPES; UNIVERSE