The absence of an environmental dependence in the mass-metallicity relation at z = 2

Glenn G. Kacprzak, Tiantian Yuan, Themiya Nanayakkara, Chiaki Kobayashi, Kim V.Y.H. Tran, Lisa J. Kewley, Karl Glazebrook, Lee Spitler, Philip Taylor, Michael Cowley, Ivo Labbe, Caroline Straatman, Adam Tomczak

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    58 Citations (Scopus)


    We investigate the environmental dependence of the mass-metallicity relation at z = 2 with MOSFIRE/Keck as part of the ZFIRE survey. Here, we present the chemical abundance of a Virgo-like progenitor at z = 2.095 that has an established red sequence. We identified 43 cluster (〈z〉 = 2.095 ± 0.004 ) and 74 field galaxies (〈z〉 = 2.195 ± 0.083) for which we can measure metallicities. For the first time, we show that there is no discernible difference between the mass-metallicity relation of field and cluster galaxies to within 0.02 dex. Both our field and cluster galaxy mass-metallicity relations are consistent with recent field galaxy studies at z ∼ 2 . We present hydrodynamical simulations for which we derive mass-metallicity relations for field and cluster galaxies. We find at most a 0.1 dex offset toward more metal-rich simulated cluster galaxies. Our results from both simulations and observations suggest that environmental effects, if present, are small and are secondary to the ongoing inflow and outflow processes that are governed by galaxy halo mass.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberL26
    JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


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