The dust-to-gas mass ratio of luminous galaxies as a function of their metallicity at cosmic noon

Gergö Popping, Irene Shivaei, Ryan L. Sanders, Tucker Jones, Alexandra Pope, Naveen A. Reddy, Alice E. Shapley, Alison L. Coil, Mariska Kriek

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5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aims. We aim to quantify the relation between the dust-to-gas mass ratio (DTG) and gas-phase metallicity of z = 2.1-2.5 luminous galaxies and contrast this high-redshift relation against analogous constraints at z = 0. Methods. We present a sample of ten star-forming main-sequence galaxies in the redshift range 2.1 < z < 2.5 with rest-optical emission-line information available from the MOSDEF survey and with ALMA 1.2 millimetre and CO J = 3-2 follow-up observations. The galaxies have stellar masses ranging from 1010.3 to 1010.6 M? and cover a range in star-formation rate from 35 to 145 M? yr-1. We calculated the gas-phase oxygen abundance of these galaxies from rest-optical nebular emission lines (8.4 < 12+log (O=H) < 8.8, corresponding to 0.5..1.25 Z?). We estimated the dust and H2 masses of the galaxies (using a metallicity-dependent CO-to-H2 conversion factor) from the 1.2mm and CO J = 3..2 observations, respectively, from which we estimated a DTG. Results. We find that the galaxies in this sample follow the trends already observed between CO line luminosity and dust-continuum luminosity from z = 0 to z = 3, extending such trends to fainter galaxies at 2.1 < z < 2.5 than observed to date. We find no second-order metallicity dependence in the CO - dust-continuum luminosity relation for the galaxies presented in this work. The DTGs of main-sequence galaxies at 2.1 < z < 2.5 are consistent with an increase in the DTG with gas-phase metallicity. The metallicity dependence of the DTG is driven by the metallicity dependence of the CO-to-H2 conversion factor. Galaxies at z = 2.1-2.5 are furthermore consistent with the DTG-metallicity relation found at z = 0 (i.e. with no significant evolution), providing relevant constraints for galaxy formation models. These results furthermore imply that the metallicity of galaxies should be taken into account when estimating cold-gas masses from dust-continuum emission, which is especially relevant when studying metal-poor low-mass or high-redshift galaxies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA138
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Volume670
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors.

Keywords

  • Dust
  • Extinction
  • Galaxies: ISM
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: high-redshift

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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