Dust-depletion sequences in damped Lyman-α absorbers

A unified picture from low-metallicity systems to the Galaxy

A. De Cia, C. Ledoux, L. Mattsson, P. Petitjean, R. Srianand, I. Gavignaud, E. B. Jenkins

Resultado de la investigación: Article

42 Citas (Scopus)

Resumen

We study metal depletion due to dust in the interstellar medium (ISM) to infer the properties of dust grains and characterize the metal and dust content of galaxies down to low metallicity and intermediate redshift z. We provide metal column densities and abundances of a sample of 70 damped Lyman-α absorbers (DLAs) towards quasars, observed at high spectral resolution with the Very Large Telescope (VLT) Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES). This is the largest sample of phosphorus abundances measured in DLAs so far. We use literature measurements for Galactic clouds to cover the high-metallicity end. We discover tight (scatter ≲ 0.2 dex) correlations between [Zn/Fe] and the observed relative abundances from dust depletion. This implies that grain growth in the ISM is an important process of dust production. These sequences are continuous in [Zn/Fe] from dust-free to dusty DLAs, and to Galactic clouds, suggesting that the availability of refractory metals in the ISM is crucial for dust production, regardless of the star formation history. We observe [S/Zn] up to ~0.25 dex in DLAs, which is broadly consistent with Galactic stellar abundances. Furthermore, we find a good agreement between the nucleosynthetic pattern of Galactic halo stars and our observations of the least dusty DLAs. This supports recent star formation in low-metallicity DLAs. The derived depletions of Zn, O, P, S, Si, Mg, Mn, Cr, and Fe correlate with [Zn/Fe], with steeper slopes for more refractory elements. P is mostly not affected by dust depletion. We present canonical depletion patterns to be used as reference in future studies of relative abundances and depletion. We derive the total (dust-corrected) metallicity, typically-2 ≲ [M/H] tot ≲ 0 for DLAs, and scattered around solar metallicity for the Galactic ISM. The dust-to-metal ratio (DTM) increases with metallicity, again supporting the importance of grain growth for dust production. The dust extinction AV derived from the depletion is typically <0.2 mag in DLAs. Finally, we derive elemental abundances in dust, which is key to understanding the dust composition and its evolution. We observe similar abundances of Mg, Si, and Fe in dust; this suggests that grain species such as pyroxenes and iron oxides are more important than olivine, but this needs to be confirmed by more detailed analysis. Overall, we characterize dust depletion, nucleosynthesis, and dust-corrected metallicity in DLAs, providing a unified picture from low-metallicity systems to the Galactic ISM.

Idioma originalEnglish
Número de artículoA97
PublicaciónAstronomy and Astrophysics
Volumen596
DOI
EstadoPublished - 1 dic 2016

Huella dactilar

metallicity
absorbers
depletion
dust
galaxies
metal
metals
star formation
relative abundance
ultraviolet telescopes
refractory metals
pyroxenes
galactic halos
refractories
spectral resolution
nuclear fusion
iron oxides
olivine
iron oxide
quasars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Citar esto

De Cia, A. ; Ledoux, C. ; Mattsson, L. ; Petitjean, P. ; Srianand, R. ; Gavignaud, I. ; Jenkins, E. B. / Dust-depletion sequences in damped Lyman-α absorbers : A unified picture from low-metallicity systems to the Galaxy. En: Astronomy and Astrophysics. 2016 ; Vol. 596.
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abstract = "We study metal depletion due to dust in the interstellar medium (ISM) to infer the properties of dust grains and characterize the metal and dust content of galaxies down to low metallicity and intermediate redshift z. We provide metal column densities and abundances of a sample of 70 damped Lyman-α absorbers (DLAs) towards quasars, observed at high spectral resolution with the Very Large Telescope (VLT) Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES). This is the largest sample of phosphorus abundances measured in DLAs so far. We use literature measurements for Galactic clouds to cover the high-metallicity end. We discover tight (scatter ≲ 0.2 dex) correlations between [Zn/Fe] and the observed relative abundances from dust depletion. This implies that grain growth in the ISM is an important process of dust production. These sequences are continuous in [Zn/Fe] from dust-free to dusty DLAs, and to Galactic clouds, suggesting that the availability of refractory metals in the ISM is crucial for dust production, regardless of the star formation history. We observe [S/Zn] up to ~0.25 dex in DLAs, which is broadly consistent with Galactic stellar abundances. Furthermore, we find a good agreement between the nucleosynthetic pattern of Galactic halo stars and our observations of the least dusty DLAs. This supports recent star formation in low-metallicity DLAs. The derived depletions of Zn, O, P, S, Si, Mg, Mn, Cr, and Fe correlate with [Zn/Fe], with steeper slopes for more refractory elements. P is mostly not affected by dust depletion. We present canonical depletion patterns to be used as reference in future studies of relative abundances and depletion. We derive the total (dust-corrected) metallicity, typically-2 ≲ [M/H] tot ≲ 0 for DLAs, and scattered around solar metallicity for the Galactic ISM. The dust-to-metal ratio (DTM) increases with metallicity, again supporting the importance of grain growth for dust production. The dust extinction AV derived from the depletion is typically <0.2 mag in DLAs. Finally, we derive elemental abundances in dust, which is key to understanding the dust composition and its evolution. We observe similar abundances of Mg, Si, and Fe in dust; this suggests that grain species such as pyroxenes and iron oxides are more important than olivine, but this needs to be confirmed by more detailed analysis. Overall, we characterize dust depletion, nucleosynthesis, and dust-corrected metallicity in DLAs, providing a unified picture from low-metallicity systems to the Galactic ISM.",
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Dust-depletion sequences in damped Lyman-α absorbers : A unified picture from low-metallicity systems to the Galaxy. / De Cia, A.; Ledoux, C.; Mattsson, L.; Petitjean, P.; Srianand, R.; Gavignaud, I.; Jenkins, E. B.

En: Astronomy and Astrophysics, Vol. 596, A97, 01.12.2016.

Resultado de la investigación: Article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Dust-depletion sequences in damped Lyman-α absorbers

T2 - A unified picture from low-metallicity systems to the Galaxy

AU - De Cia, A.

AU - Ledoux, C.

AU - Mattsson, L.

AU - Petitjean, P.

AU - Srianand, R.

AU - Gavignaud, I.

AU - Jenkins, E. B.

PY - 2016/12/1

Y1 - 2016/12/1

N2 - We study metal depletion due to dust in the interstellar medium (ISM) to infer the properties of dust grains and characterize the metal and dust content of galaxies down to low metallicity and intermediate redshift z. We provide metal column densities and abundances of a sample of 70 damped Lyman-α absorbers (DLAs) towards quasars, observed at high spectral resolution with the Very Large Telescope (VLT) Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES). This is the largest sample of phosphorus abundances measured in DLAs so far. We use literature measurements for Galactic clouds to cover the high-metallicity end. We discover tight (scatter ≲ 0.2 dex) correlations between [Zn/Fe] and the observed relative abundances from dust depletion. This implies that grain growth in the ISM is an important process of dust production. These sequences are continuous in [Zn/Fe] from dust-free to dusty DLAs, and to Galactic clouds, suggesting that the availability of refractory metals in the ISM is crucial for dust production, regardless of the star formation history. We observe [S/Zn] up to ~0.25 dex in DLAs, which is broadly consistent with Galactic stellar abundances. Furthermore, we find a good agreement between the nucleosynthetic pattern of Galactic halo stars and our observations of the least dusty DLAs. This supports recent star formation in low-metallicity DLAs. The derived depletions of Zn, O, P, S, Si, Mg, Mn, Cr, and Fe correlate with [Zn/Fe], with steeper slopes for more refractory elements. P is mostly not affected by dust depletion. We present canonical depletion patterns to be used as reference in future studies of relative abundances and depletion. We derive the total (dust-corrected) metallicity, typically-2 ≲ [M/H] tot ≲ 0 for DLAs, and scattered around solar metallicity for the Galactic ISM. The dust-to-metal ratio (DTM) increases with metallicity, again supporting the importance of grain growth for dust production. The dust extinction AV derived from the depletion is typically <0.2 mag in DLAs. Finally, we derive elemental abundances in dust, which is key to understanding the dust composition and its evolution. We observe similar abundances of Mg, Si, and Fe in dust; this suggests that grain species such as pyroxenes and iron oxides are more important than olivine, but this needs to be confirmed by more detailed analysis. Overall, we characterize dust depletion, nucleosynthesis, and dust-corrected metallicity in DLAs, providing a unified picture from low-metallicity systems to the Galactic ISM.

AB - We study metal depletion due to dust in the interstellar medium (ISM) to infer the properties of dust grains and characterize the metal and dust content of galaxies down to low metallicity and intermediate redshift z. We provide metal column densities and abundances of a sample of 70 damped Lyman-α absorbers (DLAs) towards quasars, observed at high spectral resolution with the Very Large Telescope (VLT) Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES). This is the largest sample of phosphorus abundances measured in DLAs so far. We use literature measurements for Galactic clouds to cover the high-metallicity end. We discover tight (scatter ≲ 0.2 dex) correlations between [Zn/Fe] and the observed relative abundances from dust depletion. This implies that grain growth in the ISM is an important process of dust production. These sequences are continuous in [Zn/Fe] from dust-free to dusty DLAs, and to Galactic clouds, suggesting that the availability of refractory metals in the ISM is crucial for dust production, regardless of the star formation history. We observe [S/Zn] up to ~0.25 dex in DLAs, which is broadly consistent with Galactic stellar abundances. Furthermore, we find a good agreement between the nucleosynthetic pattern of Galactic halo stars and our observations of the least dusty DLAs. This supports recent star formation in low-metallicity DLAs. The derived depletions of Zn, O, P, S, Si, Mg, Mn, Cr, and Fe correlate with [Zn/Fe], with steeper slopes for more refractory elements. P is mostly not affected by dust depletion. We present canonical depletion patterns to be used as reference in future studies of relative abundances and depletion. We derive the total (dust-corrected) metallicity, typically-2 ≲ [M/H] tot ≲ 0 for DLAs, and scattered around solar metallicity for the Galactic ISM. The dust-to-metal ratio (DTM) increases with metallicity, again supporting the importance of grain growth for dust production. The dust extinction AV derived from the depletion is typically <0.2 mag in DLAs. Finally, we derive elemental abundances in dust, which is key to understanding the dust composition and its evolution. We observe similar abundances of Mg, Si, and Fe in dust; this suggests that grain species such as pyroxenes and iron oxides are more important than olivine, but this needs to be confirmed by more detailed analysis. Overall, we characterize dust depletion, nucleosynthesis, and dust-corrected metallicity in DLAs, providing a unified picture from low-metallicity systems to the Galactic ISM.

KW - Dust, extinction

KW - ISM: abundances

KW - Quasars: absorption lines

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U2 - 10.1051/0004-6361/201527895

DO - 10.1051/0004-6361/201527895

M3 - Article

VL - 596

JO - Astronomy and Astrophysics

JF - Astronomy and Astrophysics

SN - 0004-6361

M1 - A97

ER -