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Carbon Abundances in Starburst Galaxies of the Local Universe

Date

2017

Authors

Pena-Guerrero, Maria A.
Leitherer, Claus
De Mink, Selma
Wofford, Aida
Kewley, Lisa

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

IOP Publishing

Abstract

The cosmological origin of carbon, the fourth most abundant element in the universe, is not well known and a matter of heavy debate. We investigate the behavior of C/O to O/H in order to constrain the production mechanism of carbon. We measured emission-line intensities in the spectral range from 1600 to 10000 Å on Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) long-slit spectra of 18 starburst galaxies in the local universe. We determined chemical abundances through traditional nebular analysis, and we used a Markov Chain Monte Carlo method to determine where our carbon and oxygen abundances lie in the parameter space. We conclude that our C and O abundance measurements are sensible. We analyzed the behavior of our sample in the [C/O] versus [O/H] diagram with respect to other objects such as DLAs, neutral ISM measurements, and disk and halo stars, finding that each type of object seems to be located in a specific region of the diagram. Our sample shows a steeper C/O versus O/H slope with respect to other samples, suggesting that massive stars contribute more to the production of C than N at higher metallicities, only for objects where massive stars are numerous; otherwise, intermediate-mass stars dominate the C and N production.

Description

Keywords

galaxies: evolution, galaxies: starburst, Galaxy: abundances, H II regions, ultraviolet: galaxies Supporting material: figure sets

Citation

Source

The Astrophysical Journal

Type

Journal article

Book Title

Entity type

Access Statement

Open Access

License Rights

DOI

10.3847/1538-4357/aa88bf

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