EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 418, Number 2, May I 2004
Page(s) 475 - 485
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20035795

A&A 418, 475-485 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20035795

The metallicity-luminosity relation at medium redshift based on faint CADIS emission line galaxies

C. Maier1, 2, K. Meisenheimer1 and H. Hippelein1

1  Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
2  Department of Physics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich), ETH Hönggerberg, 8093, Zürich, Switzerland

(Received 3 December 2003 / Accepted 28 January 2004)

The emission line survey within the Calar Alto Deep Imaging Survey (CADIS) detects galaxies with very low continuum brightness by using an imaging Fabry-Perot interferometer. With spectroscopic follow-up observations of ${M}_{{B}} \ga -19$ CADIS galaxies using FORS2 at the VLT and DOLORES at TNG we obtained oxygen abundances of 5 galaxies at  $z \sim 0.4$ and 10 galaxies at $z \sim 0.64$. Combining these measurements with published oxygen abundances of galaxies with ${M}_{{B}} \la -19$ we find evidence that a metallicity-luminosity relation exists at medium redshift, but it is displaced to lower abundances and higher luminosities compared to the metallicity-luminosity relation in the local universe. Comparing the observed metallicities and luminosities of galaxies at $z \la 3$ with Pégase2 chemical evolution models we have found a favoured scenario in which the metallicity of galaxies increases by a factor of ~ 2 between $z \sim 0.7$ and today, and their luminosity decreases by ~ 0.5-0.9 mag.

Key words: galaxies: high-redshift -- galaxies: abundances

Offprint request: C. Maier, chmaier@phys.ethz.ch

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