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A Census of Metals at High and Low Redshift and the Connection Between Submillimetre Sources and Spheroid Formation

Dunne, Loretta, Eales, Stephen Anthony and Edmunds, Michael Geoffrey 2003. A Census of Metals at High and Low Redshift and the Connection Between Submillimetre Sources and Spheroid Formation. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 341 (2) , pp. 589-598. 10.1046/j.1365-8711.2003.06440.x

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Deep surveys in many wavebands have shown that the rate at which stars were forming was at least a factor of 10 higher at redshifts >1 than today. Heavy elements (‘metals’) are produced by stars, and the star formation history deduced by these surveys implies that a significant fraction of all metals in the Universe today should already exist at z? 2–3. However, only 10 per cent of the total metals expected to exist at this redshift have so far been accounted for (in damped Lyman absorbers and the Lyman forest). In this paper, we use the results of submillimetre surveys of the local and high-redshift Universe to show that there was much more dust in galaxies in the past. We find that a large proportion of the missing metals are traced by this dust, bringing the metals implied from the star formation history and observations into agreement. We also show that the observed distribution of dust masses at high redshift can be reproduced remarkably well by a simple model for the evolution of dust in spheroids, suggesting that the descendants of the dusty galaxies found in deep submillimetre surveys are the relatively dust-free spiral bulges and ellipticals in the Universe today

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dust, extinction ; Galaxies: evolution ; Galaxies: ISM ; Galaxies: luminosity function, mass function ; Submillimetre
ISSN: 0035-8711
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 12:44

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