Hubble Space Telescope emission-line galaxies atz - 2: The mystery of neon

Gregory R. Zeimann, Robin Ciardullo, Henry Gebhardt, Caryl Gronwall, Alex Hagen, Jonathan R. Trump, Joanna S. Bridge, Bin Luo, Donald P. Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We use near-infrared grism spectroscopy from the Hubble Space Telescope to examine the strength of [Ne III] λ3869 relative to Hβ, [OII] λ3727, and [OIII] λ5007 in 236 low-mass (7.5 ≲ log(M∗/M⊙ ) ≲ 10.5) star-forming galaxies in the redshift range 1.90 < z < 2.35. By stacking the data by stellar mass, we show that the [Ne III]/[O II] ratios of the z - 2 universe are marginally higher than those seen in a comparable set of local Sloan Digital Sky Survey galaxies, and that [Ne III]/[O III] is enhanced by -0.2 dex. We consider the possible explanations for this -4σ result, including higher oxygen depletion out of the gas phase, denser H ii regions, higher production of 22Ne via Wolf-Rayet stars, and the existence of a larger population of X-ray obscured active galactic nuclei at z - 2 compared to z - 0. None of these simple scenarios, alone, are favored to explain the observed line ratios. We conclude by suggesting several avenues of future observations to further explore the mystery of enhanced [Ne III] emission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number29
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume798
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Fingerprint

neon
Hubble Space Telescope
galaxies
Wolf-Rayet stars
stellar mass
infrared spectroscopy
stacking
active galactic nuclei
near infrared
depletion
universe
vapor phases
stars
oxygen
gas
x rays

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Zeimann, Gregory R. ; Ciardullo, Robin ; Gebhardt, Henry ; Gronwall, Caryl ; Hagen, Alex ; Trump, Jonathan R. ; Bridge, Joanna S. ; Luo, Bin ; Schneider, Donald P. / Hubble Space Telescope emission-line galaxies atz - 2 : The mystery of neon. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2015 ; Vol. 798, No. 1.
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Hubble Space Telescope emission-line galaxies atz - 2 : The mystery of neon. / Zeimann, Gregory R.; Ciardullo, Robin; Gebhardt, Henry; Gronwall, Caryl; Hagen, Alex; Trump, Jonathan R.; Bridge, Joanna S.; Luo, Bin; Schneider, Donald P.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 798, No. 1, 29, 01.01.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Hagen, Alex

AU - Trump, Jonathan R.

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AU - Luo, Bin

AU - Schneider, Donald P.

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