The comparative chemical evolution of an isolated dwarf galaxy: A vlt and keck spectroscopic survey of wlm

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/767/2/131
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TypeArticle
Journal titleThe Astrophysical Journal
ISSN0004-637X
Volume767
Issue2
Article number131
AbstractBuilding on our previous spectroscopic and photometric analysis of the isolated Local Group dwarf irregular (dIrr) galaxy WLM, we present a comparison of the metallicities of its red giant branch stars with respect to the well-studied Local Group dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSphs) and Magellanic Clouds. We calculate a mean metallicity of [Fe/H] =-1.28 ± 0.02 and an intrinsic spread in metallicity of σ = 0.38 ± 0.04 dex, similar to the mean and spread observed in the massive dSph Fornax and the Small Magellanic Cloud. Thus, despite WLM's isolated environment, its global metallicity still follows expectations for mass and its global chemical evolution is similar to other nearby luminous dwarf galaxies (gas-rich or gas-poor). The data also show a radial gradient in [Fe/H] of d[Fe/H]/drc = -0.04 ± 0.04 dex , which is flatter than that seen in the unbiased and spatially extended surveys of dSphs. Comparison of the spatial distribution of [Fe/H] in WLM, the Magellanic Clouds, and a sample of Local Group dSphs shows an apparent dichotomy in the sense that the dIrrs have statistically flatter radial [Fe/H] gradients than the low angular momentum dSphs. The correlation between angular momentum and radial metallicity gradient is further supported when considering the Local Group dEs. This chemodynamic relationship offers a new and useful constraint for environment-driven dwarf galaxy evolution models in the Local Group. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics (HIA-IHA)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21269654
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Record identifier66a9ff2e-2074-4f73-92cc-a1a134065d44
Record created2013-12-13
Record modified2016-07-18
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