AAS 197, January 2001
Session 92. Star Formation in Nearby Galaxies
Oral, Wednesday, January 10, 2001, 10:30am-12:00noon, Royal Palm 3/4

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[92.01] Metallicity Estimation in the Rest Frame UV: A Diagnostic for High Redshift Galaxies

C. A. Tremonti (Johns Hopkins University / Space Telescope Science Institute), C. Leitherer, D. Calzetti (Space Telescope Science Institute), T. M. Heckman (Johns Hopkins University)

The bulk of the information we have about galaxies at high redshift comes from observations at rest frame ultraviolet wavelengths. We exploit the diagnostic power of this rich spectral region in order to obtain empirical estimates of metallicity. We have compiled a sample of nearby starburst galaxies with optically derived metallicities and high quality FOS, GHRS, or STIS spectra available in the HST archive. From this data, we construct template spectra spanning a range in metallicity from 1/10 to 2 times solar. We find a high degree of correlation between UV spectral morphology and metallicity in that more metal rich galaxies have broader SIV and CIV stellar wind lines, stronger interstellar features, and more pronounced line blanketing by weak photospheric features. Our template spectra provide useful benchmarks for comparison with the rest frame UV spectra of high redshift galaxies for which metallicities are otherwise difficult to obtain.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: cat@pha.jhu.edu

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