James Webb Space Telescope Feed Post

Date: 6/10/2024

Harvard ADS: The High-Redshift Gas-Phase Mass–Metallicity Relation in FIRE-2

Paper abstract: The unprecedented infrared spectroscopic capabilities of JWST have provided high-quality interstellar medium metallicity measurements and enabled characterization of the gas-phase mass–metallicity relation (MZR) for galaxies at z ? 5 for the first time. We analyze the gas-phase MZR and its evolution in a high-redshift suite of FIRE-2 cosmological zoom-in simulations at z = 5–12 and for stellar masses M * ~ 106–1010 M ?. These simulations implement a multichannel stellar feedback model and produce broadly realistic galaxy properties, including when evolved to z = 0. The simulations predict very weak redshift evolution of the MZR over the redshift range studied, with the normalization of the MZR increasing by less than 0.01 dex as redshift decreases from z = 12 to z = 5. The median MZR in the simulations is well approximated as a constant power-law relation across this redshift range given by . We find good agreement between our best-fit model and recent observations made by JWST at high redshift. The weak evolution of the MZR at z > 5 contrasts with the evolution at z ? 3, where increasing normalization of the MZR with decreasing redshift is observed and predicted by most models. The FIRE-2 simulations predict increasing scatter in the gas-phase MZR with decreasing stellar mass, in qualitative agreement with some observations.