Volume 503, Number 3, September I 2009
|Page(s)||721 - 730|
|Published online||15 June 2009|
Chemical evolution of high-redshift radio galaxies*
Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Ehime University, 2-5 Bunkyo-cho, Matsuyama 790-8577, Japan e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com
2 Research Center for Space and Cosmic Evolution, Ehime University, 2-5 Bunkyo-cho, Matsuyama 790-8577, Japan e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
3 INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Roma, via di Frascati 33, 00040 Monte Porzio Catone, Italy e-mail: email@example.com
4 Dipartimento di Astronomia e Scienza dello Spazio, Universita degli Studi di Firenze, Largo E. Fermi 2, 50125 Firenze, Italy e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 23 April 2009
We present new deep optical spectra of 9 high-z radio galaxies (HzRGs) at obtained with FORS2 on VLT. These rest-frame ultraviolet spectra are used to infer the metallicity of the narrow-line regions (NLRs) in order to investigate the chemical evolution of galaxies in the high-z universe. We focus mainly on the / and ] / flux ratios that are sensitive to both the gas metallicity and ionization parameter. Although the emission has been widely used to infer the gas metallicity, it is often too weak to be measured accurately for NLRs. In combining our new spectra with data from the literature, we examine the possible redshift evolution of the NLR metallicity for 57 HzRGs at . Based on the comparison between the observed emission-line flux ratios and the results of our photoionization model calculations, we find no significant metallicity evolution in NLRs of HzRGs, up to . Our results imply that massive galaxies had almost completed their chemical evolution at much higher redshift (). Finally, although we detect strong emission lines in 5 HzRGs at , we point out that high / ratios are not indicative of high metallicities but correspond to high ionization parameters of gas clouds in NLRs.
Key words: galaxies: active / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: nuclei / quasars: emission lines / quasars: general
© ESO, 2009
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