Utilizing the observational data of 55 318 star-forming galaxies (SFGs) selected from the catalogue of MPA-JHU emission-line measurements for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey DR8, we investigate the galaxy downsizing effect of their O and N enrichments, and the nitrogen production mechanism in them. We show the redshift evolution of O and N abundances and specific star formation rates for different galaxy mass ranges, demonstrating the galaxy downsizing effect caused by less massive progenitors of less massive galaxies. The O and N abundances do not remain constant for different galaxy mass ranges, and the enrichment (and hence star formation) decreases with increasing galaxy stellar mass. We find evidence of the O enrichment for galaxies with stellar masses M-* > 10(11.0) (in units of M-circle dot), i.e. Delta(log (O/H)) similar to 0.10 and Delta (log (N/H)) similar to 0.28 from redshift 0.023 to 0.30. Based on the evolutionary schematic model of N/O ratios in Coziol et al., who proposed the scheme that the production of nitrogen is the consequence of a sequence of bursts in SFGs, we conclude that the nitrogen production is dominated by the intermediate-mass stars, which dominate the secondary synthesis in SFGs. However, for galaxies with M-* > 10(10.35) we find evidence of enhanced N/O abundance ratios, which are significantly above the secondary synthesis line. This suggests that outflows of massive stars, which deplete oxygen efficiently, are more important in massive galaxies. Finally, we find an excellent linear relation between M-* and log(N/O), indicating that the N/O abundance ratio is a good indicator of the stellar mass in a SFG and may be used as a standard candle for studying cosmology, if confirmed with further studies.
Wu YZ,张双南；Wu, YZ,Zhang, SN. Evolution of oxygen and nitrogen abundances and nitrogen production mechanism in massive star-forming galaxies[J]. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY,2013,436(1):934-942.
吴玉中,张双南；Wu, YZ,&Zhang, SN.(2013).Evolution of oxygen and nitrogen abundances and nitrogen production mechanism in massive star-forming galaxies.MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY,436(1),934-942.
吴玉中,et al."Evolution of oxygen and nitrogen abundances and nitrogen production mechanism in massive star-forming galaxies".MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 436.1(2013):934-942.