Metals in Star-Forming Galaxies at High Redshift

Claus Leitherer

Space Telescope Science Institute

The chemical composition of high-redshift galaxies is an important property that gives clues to their past history and future evolution. Measuring abundances in distant galaxies with current techniques is often a challenge, and the canonical metallicity indicators can often not be applied. I discuss currently available metallicity indicators based on stellar and interstellar absorption and emission lines, and assess their limitations and systematic uncertainties. Recent studies suggest that star-forming galaxies at redshift around 3 have heavy-element abundances already close to solar, in agreement with predictions from cosmological models.

Reference: IAU Symp. 228, From Lithium to Uranium, ed. V. Hill, P. Francois, & F. Primas (Cambridge: CUP), in press
Status: Conference proceedings


Comments: Invited talk at IAU Symp. 228, Paris, May 2005