Oxygen Metallicity Determinations From Optical Emission Lines In Early-Type Galaxies
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We measured the oxygen abundances of the warm (T similar to 10(4) K) phase of gas in seven early-type galaxies through long-slit observations. A template spectra was constructed from galaxies void of warm gas and subtracted from the emission-line galaxies, allowing for a clean measurement of the nebular lines. The ratios of the emission lines are consistent with photoionization, which likely originates from the ultraviolet flux of postasymototic giant branch stars. We employ H II region photoionization models to determine a mean oxygen metallicity of 1.01 +/- 0.50 solar for the warm interstellar medium (ISM) in this sample. This warm ISM 0.5-1.5 solar metallicity is consistent with modern determinations of the metallicity in the hot (T similar to 10(6)-10(7) K) ISM and the upper range of this warm ISM metallicity is consistent with stellar population metallicity determinations. A solar metallicity of the warm ISM favors an internal origin for the warm ISM such as asymptotic giant branch mass loss within the galaxy.
CitationAthey, Alex E., and Joel N. Bregman. "Oxygen Metallicity Determinations from Optical Emission Lines in Early-Type Galaxies." The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 696, No. 1 (May., 2009): 681.
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