CLEAR: The Gas-phase Metallicity Gradients of Star-forming Galaxies at 0.6 <

Raymond C. Simons, Casey Papovich, Ivelina Momcheva, Jonathan R. Trump, Gabriel Brammer, Vicente Estrada-Carpenter, Bren E. Backhaus, Nikko J. Cleri, Steven L. Finkelstein, Mauro Giavalisco, Zhiyuan Ji, Intae Jung, Jasleen Matharu, Benjamin Weiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report on the gas-phase metallicity gradients of a sample of 238 star-forming galaxies at 0.6 < z < 2.6, measured through deep near-infrared Hubble Space Telescope slitless spectroscopy. The observations include 12 orbit depth Hubble/WFC3 G102 grism spectra taken as a part of the CANDELS Lyα Emission at Reionization (CLEAR) survey, and archival WFC3 G102+G141 grism spectra overlapping the CLEAR footprint. The majority of galaxies in this sample are consistent with having a zero or slightly positive metallicity gradient (dZ/dR ≥ 0, i.e., increasing with radius) across the full mass range probed (8.5 < log M */M ⊙ < 10.5). We measure the intrinsic population scatter of the metallicity gradients, and show that it increases with decreasing stellar mass—consistent with previous reports in the literature, but confirmed here with a much larger sample. To understand the physical mechanisms governing this scatter, we search for correlations between the observed gradient and various stellar population properties at fixed mass. However, we find no evidence for a correlation with the galaxy properties we consider—including star formation rates, sizes, star formation rate surface densities, and star formation rates per gravitational potential energy. We use the observed weakness of these correlations to provide material constraints for predicted intrinsic correlations from theoretical models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number203
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume923
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 20 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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