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New insights on the mass-metallicity relation of local star-forming galaxies from Keck/KCWI

Presentation #224.01 in the session Evolution of Galaxies IV.

Published onJun 29, 2022
New insights on the mass-metallicity relation of local star-forming galaxies from Keck/KCWI

The mass-metallicity relation (MZR) is an essential approach to probe the chemical evolution of galaxies, as different galactic feedback mechanisms predict different shapes in MZR. The MZR is well-measured in the gas phase for nearly the full range of galaxy mass, but the stellar MZR is ambiguous at 108 < M*/Msun < 1010. The main reason for the dearth of data is the difficulty in measuring stellar metallicities in highly star-forming galaxies. To solve this problem, we leverage the IFU data of low-mass star-forming galaxies, obtained on Keck/KCWI, to determine the stellar iron and magnesium abundances in the more quiescent areas away from HII regions. The new data also allows us to make an apples-to-apples comparison of instantaneously recycled alpha elements — oxygen in the gas phase and magnesium in the stellar phase for the first time.

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