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A systematic metallicity study of DustPedia galaxies reveals evolution in the dust-to-metal ratios,

De Vis, P., Jones, A., Viaene, S., Casasola, V., Clark, C. J. R., Baes, M., Bianchi, S., Cassara, L. P., Davies, J. I., De Looze, I., Galametz, M., Galliano, F., Lianou, S., Madden, S., Manilla-Robles, A., Mosenkov, A. V., Nersesian, A., Roychowdhury, S., Xilouris, E. M. and Ysard, N. 2019. A systematic metallicity study of DustPedia galaxies reveals evolution in the dust-to-metal ratios,. Astronomy and Astrophysics 623 , A5. 10.1051/0004-6361/201834444

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Observations of evolution in the dust-to-metal ratio allow us to constrain the dominant dust processing mechanisms. In this work, we present a study of the dust-to-metal and dust-to-gas ratios in a sub-sample of ~500 DustPedia galaxies. Using literature and MUSE emission line fluxes, we derived gas-phase metallicities (oxygen abundances) for over 10 000 individual regions and determine characteristic metallicities for each galaxy. We study how the relative dust, gas, and metal contents of galaxies evolve by using metallicity and gas fraction as proxies for evolutionary state. The global oxygen abundance and nitrogen-to-oxygen ratio are found to increase monotonically as galaxies evolve. Additionally, unevolved galaxies (gas fraction >60%, metallicity 12 + log(O∕H) < 8.2) have dust-to-metal ratios that are about a factor of 2.1 lower (a factor of six lower for galaxies with gas fraction >80%) than the typical dust-to-metal ratio (Md∕MZ ~ 0.214) for more evolved sources. However, for high gas fractions, the scatter is larger due to larger observational uncertainties as well as a potential dependence of the dust grain growth timescale and supernova dust yield on local conditions and star formation histories. We find chemical evolution models with a strong contribution from dust grain growth describe these observations reasonably well. The dust-to-metal ratio is also found to be lower for low stellar masses and high specific star formation rates (with the exception of some sources undergoing a starburst). Finally, the metallicity gradient correlates weakly with the HI-to-stellar mass ratio, the effective radius and the dust-to-stellar mass ratio, but not with stellar mass.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: EDP Sciences
ISSN: 0004-6361
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 April 2019
Date of Acceptance: 8 January 2019
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 08:48

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