Volume 393, Number 3, October III 2002
|Page(s)||809 - 819|
|Section||Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)|
|Published online||01 October 2002|
Evidence for chemical evolution in the spectra of high redshift galaxies*
Landessternwarte Heidelberg, Königstuhl, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
2 Universitätssternwarte München, Scheinerstraße 1, 81679 München, Germany
3 Universitäts-Sternwarte Göttingen, Geismarlandstraße 11, 37083 Göttingen, Germany
Corresponding author: D. Mehlert, email@example.com
Accepted: 1 July 2002
Using a sample of 57 VLT FORS spectra in the redshift range (selected mainly from the FORS Deep Field survey) and a comparison sample with 36 IUE spectra of local () starburst galaxies we derive C iv and Si iv equivalent width values and estimate metallicities of starburst galaxies as a function of redshift. Assuming that a calibration of the C iv equivalent widths in terms of the metallicity based on the local sample of starburst galaxies is applicable to high-z objects, we find a significant increase of the average metallicities from about at the cosmic epoch corresponding to to about at . A significant further increase in metallicity during later epochs cannot be detected in our data. Compared to the local starburst galaxies our high-redshift objects tend to be overluminous for a fixed metallicity. Our observational results are in good agreement with published observational data by other authors and with theoretical predictions of the cosmic chemical evolution.
Key words: galaxies: starburst / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: formation / galaxies: stellar content / galaxies: fundamental parameters
© ESO, 2002
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