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Title: LEO P: HOW MANY METALS CAN A VERY LOW MASS, ISOLATED GALAXY RETAIN?

Leo P is a gas-rich dwarf galaxy with an extremely low gas-phase oxygen abundance (3% solar). The isolated nature of Leo P enables a quantitative measurement of metals lost solely due to star formation feedback. We present an inventory of the oxygen atoms in Leo P based on the gas-phase oxygen abundance measurement, the star formation history (SFH), and the chemical enrichment evolution derived from resolved stellar populations. The SFH also provides the total amount of oxygen produced. Overall, Leo P has retained 5% of its oxygen; 25% of the retained oxygen is in the stars while 75% is in the gas phase. This is considerably lower than the 20%–25% calculated for massive galaxies, supporting the trend for less efficient metal retention for lower-mass galaxies. The retention fraction is higher than that calculated for other alpha elements (Mg, Si, Ca) in dSph Milky Way satellites of similar stellar mass and metallicity. Accounting only for the oxygen retained in stars, our results are consistent with those derived for the alpha elements in dSph galaxies. Thus, under the assumption that the dSph galaxies lost the bulk of their gas mass through an environmental process such as tidal stripping, the estimates of retained metal fractions represent underestimatesmore » by roughly a factor of four. Because of its isolation, Leo P provides an important datum for the fraction of metals lost as a function of galaxy mass due to star formation.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ; ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ; ;  [7]
  1. Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics, School of Physics and Astronomy, 116 Church Street, S.E., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (United States)
  2. Raytheon Company, 1151 E. Hermans Road, Tucson, AZ 85756 (United States)
  3. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macalester College, 1600 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105 (United States)
  4. Department of Astronomy, Indiana University, 727 East 3rd Street, Bloomington, IN 47405 (United States)
  5. ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, Postbus 2, 7990 AA, Dwingeloo (Netherlands)
  6. Center for Gravitation, Cosmology and Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, 1900 East Kenwood Boulevard, Milwaukee, WI 53211 (United States)
  7. Center for Radiophysics and Space Research, Space Sciences Building, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22518656
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 815; 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; ATOMS; CALCIUM; FEEDBACK; MAGNESIUM; MASS; METALLICITY; MILKY WAY; OXYGEN; SATELLITES; SILICON; STAR EVOLUTION; STARS