Dust-to-gas ratio and metal abundance in dwarf galaxies
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American Astronomical Society; Institute of Physics (IOP)
Lisenfeld, U.; Ferrara, A. Dust-to-gas ratio and metal abundance in dwarf galaxies. Astrophysical Journal, 496(1): 145-154 (1998). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/29061]
SponsorshipU. L. gratefully acknowledges the receipt of a grant by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and by the Comisi´on Interministerial de Ciencia y Technolog´ıa (Spain).
We have compared the metallicity (represented by oxygen abundance), and the dust-to-gas ratio, in a sample of dwarf galaxies. For dwarf irregulars (dIrrs) we find a good correlation between the two quantities, with a power-law index 0.54±0.2. Blue Compact Dwarf (BCD) galaxies do not show such a good correlation; in addition both the dust-to-gas ratio and the metallicity tend to be higher than for dIrrs. We have then developed a simple but physical analytical model for the above relation. Comparing the model results with the data, we conclude that: (i) for low values of the dust-to-gas ratio, the relation between the dust-to-gas ratio and the metallicity is quasi-linear, whereas for higher values the curve strongly deviates from the linear behavior, implying that the commonly used power-law approximation is very poor; (ii) the deviation from the linear behavior depends critically on the parameter χ, the ``differential'' mass outflow rate from the galaxy in units of the star formation rate (SFR); (iii) the shape of the curve representing the relation between the dust-to-gas ratio and the metallicity does not depend on the SFR, but only on χ; however, the specific location of a given galaxy on the curve does depend on ψ; (iv) the BCD metallicity segregation is due to a higher ψ, together with a significant differential mass outflow. Thus, the lack of correlation can be produced by largely different star formation rates and values of χ in these objects.