AR 16151 (Archival Research)

Sun Jul 14 20:40:34 GMT 2024

Principal Investigator: Raymond Simons
PI Institution: University of Connecticut
Investigators (xml)

Title: On The Rapid Evolution of Galaxy Metallicity Gradients: A Bridge Between Theory and Observations
Cycle: 28

Galaxies form in a complex ecosystem, with metal-rich and metal-poor gas cycling in, out, and around galaxies on rapid timescales. Resolved views of the metallicities of galaxies offer an intimate view into this cycle. The Hubble Space Telescope has enabled rapid progress on this front, but a direct bridge between these observations and theoretical predictions is missing. We propose to investigate the rapid evolution of the spatially-resolved gas metallicities of high-redshift star-forming galaxies using a suite of state-of-the-art hydrodynamical galaxy formation simulations. We will quantify the distinct roles that star-formation, accretion, merging, and radial migration play in (re-)distributing metals within and around galaxies. We will measure the timescales over which these mechanisms act, and search for unique signatures they impart on the metallicity profiles of the simulated galaxies. Critically, we will create synthetic Hubble grism spectroscopy to test predictions from the simulations against real observations. All software, simulation meta-data, and synthetic observations generated from this proposal will be packaged as navigable products and publicly released.