Exploring Metal-Poor Star-Forming Galaxies throughout the Universe
Astronomy and astrophysics
Friday 21 February 2014
to 11:30 at
Bethan James (Cambridge)
Quantifying metals throughout the Universe offers a means to understanding numerous fundamental processes such as enrichment, feedback, star-formation and, ultimately, galaxy evolution itself. Since metallicity measurements of the first galaxies are currently beyond our reach, we instead use local star-forming galaxies (SFGs) as nearby laboratories to study the distribution of metals in detail that is unachievable for the more distant, high-z galaxies. However, recent studies have shown that we may not have the firm handle on the metal abundances within these systems that we once thought. I will present results from chemical abundance studies of the ionised gas from Integral Field Unit (IFU) data, along with UV absorption line studies of the neutral gas, to demonstrate the biases involved with metallicity measurements in nearby SFGs. In addition to this, I will discuss how we can use distant strongly-lensed galaxies to test how reliable the locally-based metallicity indicators are for measuring the metal content of high-z SFGs.