Empress. II. highly Fe-enriched metal-poor galaxies with ∼ 1.0 (Fe/O)⊙ and 0.02 (O/H)⊙: Possible traces of super massive (> 300M⊙) stars in early galaxies

Takashi Kojima, Masami Ouchi, Michael Rauch, Yoshiaki Ono, Kimihiko Nakajima, Yuki Isobe, Seiji Fujimoto, Yuichi Harikane, Takuya Hashimoto, Masao Hayashi, Yutaka Komiyama, Haruka Kusakabe, Ji Hoon Kim, Chien Hsiu Lee, Shiro Mukae, Tohru Nagao, Masato Onodera, Takatoshi Shibuya, Yuma Sugahara, Masayuki UmemuraKiyoto Yabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present element abundance ratios and ionizing radiation of local young low-mass (∼ 106M⊙) extremely metal poor galaxies (EMPGs) with a 2% solar oxygen abundance (O/H)⊙ and a high specific star-formation rate (sSFR∼300 Gyr−1), and other (extremely) metal poor galaxies, which are compiled from Extremely Metal-Poor Representatives Explored by the Subaru Survey (EMPRESS) and the literature. Weak emission lines such as [Fe iii]4658 and He ii4686 are detected in very deep optical spectra of the EMPGs taken with 8m-class telescopes including Keck and Subaru (Kojima et al. 2019; Izotov et al. 2018), enabling us to derive element abundance ratios with photoionization models. We find that neon- and argon-to-oxygen ratios are comparable to those of known local dwarf galaxies, and that the nitrogen-to-oxygen abundance ratios (N/O) are lower than 20% (N/O)⊙ consistent with the low oxygen abundance. However, the iron-to-oxygen abundance ratios (Fe/O) of the EMPGs are generally high; the EMPGs with the 2%-solar oxygen abundance show high Fe/O ratios of ∼ 90−140% (Fe/O)⊙, which are unlikely explained by suggested scenarios of Type Ia supernova iron productions, iron’s dust depletion, and metal-poor gas inflow onto previously metal-riched galaxies with solar abundances. Moreover, these EMPGs have very high He ii4686/Hβ ratios of ∼1/40, which are not reproduced by existing models of high-mass X-ray binaries whose progenitor stellar masses are less than 120M⊙. Comparing stellar-nucleosynthesis and photoionization models with a comprehensive sample of EMPGs identified by this and previous EMPG studies, we propose that both the high Fe/O ratios and the high He ii4686/Hβ ratios are explained by the past existence of super massive (> 300M⊙) stars, which may evolve into intermediate-mass black holes (& 100M⊙).

Original languageEnglish
JournalUnknown Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun 6


  • Galaxies: abundance
  • Galaxies: dwarf
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Galaxies: ISM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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