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Modeling Chemical Abundance Evolution in Dwarf Galaxies

Presentation #147.02 in the session “Dwarf & Irregular Galaxies”.

Published onJan 11, 2021
Modeling Chemical Abundance Evolution in Dwarf Galaxies

The abundance of elements within a galaxy can give a strong insight into the physical processes that have occurred within the galaxy. Thus, an important part of understanding galaxy evolution relies on knowing how the chemical abundance in a galaxy has changed over time. However, there is no way to retroactively observe the evolving chemical composition of a galaxy, which is why we turn to the present day metallicities of stars. Since stars were formed from the materials within the galaxy, the metallicity of each star is somewhat representative of the metallicity of the entire galaxy at the time the star was formed. Using the observed metallicities of stars within a galaxy and the measured star formation rate of the galaxy our model infers parameters within the Chempy chemical evolution model (Rybizki et al. 2017) to find not only the most likely chemical abundances over time but also other important characteristics of the galaxy including the outflow feedback fraction and SN1a time delay. When applied to a simulated FIRE dwarf galaxy, our model was able to closely predict the galaxy’s chemical evolution, verifying the accuracy of our model. In the future, we will apply the model to the Sculptor dwarf galaxy and add in a metallicity variance parameter to better understand the spread of elements within the galaxy. Overall, our model can serve as a powerful tool in improving both the predicted metallicity evolution and inferred galactic parameters of real dwarf galaxies.


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