The interstellar medium in [OIII]-selected star-forming galaxies at z ∼ 3.2

Tomoko L. Suzuki, Tadayuki Kodama, Masato Onodera, Rhythm Shimakawa, Masao Hayashi, Ken Ichi Tadaki, Yusei Koyama, Ichi Tanaka, David Sobral, Ian Smail, Philip N. Best, Ali A. Khostovan, Yosuke Minowa, Moegi Yamamoto

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6 Citations (Scopus)


We present new results from near-infrared spectroscopy with Keck/MOSFIRE of [O III]-selected galaxies at z ~ 3.2. With our H and K band spectra, we investigate the interstellar medium (ISM) conditions, such as ionization states and gas metallicities. [O III] emitters at z ~ 3.2 show a typical gas metallicity of 12 + log(O H) = 8.07 0.07 at log(M* M) ~ 9.0-9.2 and 12 + log(O H) = 8.31 0.04 at log(M* M) ~ 9.7-10.2 when using the empirical calibration method. We compare the [O III] emitters at z ~ 3.2 with UV-selected galaxies and Lyα emitters at the same epoch and find that the [O III]-based selection does not appear to show any systematic bias in the selection of star-forming galaxies. Moreover, comparing with star-forming galaxies at z ~ 2 from the literature, our samples show similar ionization parameters and gas metallicities as those obtained by the previous studies that used the same calibration method. We find no strong redshift evolution in the ISM conditions between z ~ 3.2 and z ~ 2. Considering that the star formation rates at a fixed stellar mass also do not significantly change between the two epochs, our results support the idea that the stellar mass is the primary quantity to describe the evolutionary stages of individual galaxies at z > 2.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberaa8df3
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 1


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


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