Volume 618, October 2018
|Number of page(s)||15|
|Published online||16 October 2018|
Properties and redshift evolution of star-forming galaxies with high [O III]/[O II] ratios with MUSE at 0.28 < z < 0.85
Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
2 Univ. Lyon, Univ. Lyon1, Ens de Lyon, CNRS,Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon UMR 5574, 69230 Saint-Genis-Laval, France
3 Observatoire de Genève, Université de Genève,51 Ch. des Maillettes, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
4 Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
5 Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, AlbaNova University Centre, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
6 ETH Zurich, Department of Physics, Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 27, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
7 Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP), Université de Toulouse, CNRS,UPS, 31400 Toulouse, France
8 Aix-Marseille Univ., CNRS, LAM, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, Marseille, France
9 Institut fürPhysik und Astronomie, Universität Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 24/25, 14476 Golm, Germany
Accepted: 30 June 2018
We present a study of the [O III]/[O II] ratios of star-forming galaxies drawn from Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) data spanning a redshift range 0.28 < z < 0.85. Recently discovered Lyman continuum (LyC) emitters have extremely high oxygen line ratios: [O III]λ5007/[O II]λλ3726, 3729 > 4. Here we aim to understand the properties and the occurrences of galaxies with such high line ratios. Combining data from several MUSE Guaranteed Time Observing (GTO) programmes, we select a population of star-forming galaxies with bright emission lines, from which we draw 406 galaxies for our analysis based on their position in the z-dependent star formation rate (SFR)–stellar mass (M∗) plane. Out of this sample 15 are identified as extreme oxygen emitters based on their [O III]/[O II] ratios (3.7%) and 104 galaxies have [O III]/[O II] > 1 (26%). Our analysis shows no significant correlation between M∗, SFR, and the distance from the SFR−M∗ relation with [O III]/[O II]. We find a decrease in the fraction of galaxies with [O III]/[O II] > 1 with increasing M∗, however, this is most likely a result of the relationship between [O III]/[O II] and metallicity, rather than between [O III]/[O II] and M∗. We draw a comparison sample of local analogues with ⟨z⟩ ≈ 0.03 from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and find similar incidence rates for this sample. In order to investigate the evolution in the fraction of high [O III]/[O II] emitters with redshift, we bin the sample into three redshift subsamples of equal number, but find no evidence for a dependence on redshift. Furthermore, we compare the observed line ratios with those predicted by nebular models with no LyC escape and find that most of the extreme oxygen emitters can be reproduced by low metallicity models. The remaining galaxies are likely LyC emitter candidates.
Key words: galaxies: evolution / galaxies: ISM / galaxies: abundances / ISM: structure / ISM: kinematics and dynamics / dark ages, reionization, first stars
© ESO 2018
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