SDSS-IV MaNGA: Evidence for Enriched Accretion onto Satellite Galaxies in Dense Environments

Adam L. Schaefer, Christy Tremonti, Zachary Pace, Francesco Belfiore, MARIA DEL CARMEN ARGUDO FERNANDEZ, Matthew A. Bershady, Niv Drory, Amy Jones, Roberto Maiolino, David Stark, David Wake, Renbin Yan

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6 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigate the environmental dependence of the local gas-phase metallicity in a sample of star-forming galaxies from the MaNGA survey. Satellite galaxies with stellar masses in the range are found to be ∼0.05 dex higher in metallicity than centrals of similar stellar mass. Within the low-mass satellite population, we find that the interstellar medium (ISM) metallicity depends most strongly on the stellar mass of the galaxy that is central to the halo, though there is no obvious difference in the metallicity gradients. At fixed total stellar mass, the satellites of high-mass (M > 1010.5 M o) centrals are ∼0.1 dex more metal-rich than the satellites of low-mass (M < 1010 M o) centrals, controlling for local stellar mass surface density and gas fraction. Fitting a gas regulator model to the spaxel data, we are able to account for variations in the local gas fraction, stellar mass surface density, and local escape velocity-dependent outflows. We find that the best explanation for the metallicity differences is the variation in the average metallicity of accreted gas between different environments that depends on the stellar mass of the dominant galaxies in each halo. This is interpreted as evidence for the exchange of enriched gas between galaxies in dense environments that is predicted by recent simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume884
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes

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