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Distribution of stars by Metallicity and Redshift

  1. Jan 3, 2013 #1
    Is there a large database that contains, for many stars, their estimated metallicities as well as their redshifts (or, equivalently, distances from us) and masses?

    What I'm trying to do is estimate the chemical abundances at different ages of the universe. If I have the metallicity of a star at a given redshift, then I know both its age and its metallicity (and a rough estimate of the proportion of non-H/He elements). Then, if I have this data for varying "weighted metallicities" (metallicity by percentage * mass) for many different redshifts/ages, I can estimate the proportion of elements at varying ages.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 3, 2013 #2


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    Pianoplayer98, Welcome to Physics Forums!

    I was unable to find any large databases with the information you seek. I found only these two:

    The Astrophysical Journal, 595:L9-L12, 2003 September 20
    The Age-Metallicity Relation of the Universe in Neutral Gas: The First 100 Damped Ly Systems
    Jason X. Prochaska , Eric Gawiser , Arthur M. Wolfe , Sandra Castro , and S. G. Djorgovski
    Received 2003 May 7; accepted 2003 August 8; published 2003 August 21
    We discuss accurate metallicity measurements for 125 damped Ly (DLA) systems at 0.5 < z < 5


    A Catalogue of Damped Lyman Alpha Absorption Systems and Radio Flux Densities of the Background Quasars
    S. J. Curran, J. K. Webb, M. T. Murphy, R. Bandiera, E. Corbelli and V. V. Flambaum
    Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia 19(4) 455 - 474
    We present a catalogue of the 322 damped Lyman alpha absorbers

  4. Jan 3, 2013 #3


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    Are we able to determine metallicity of distant _stars_? I mean - do we have telescopes with resolution high enough to be used for single stars at the distances where the redshift becomes important? I suppose what we can measure is the average metallicity of much larger objects (galaxies?), but not stars.
  5. Jan 3, 2013 #4


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    Borek, good point! You are quite correct: the Damped Lyman Alpha systems referenced above certainly are not measurements of individual stars.
  6. Jan 3, 2013 #5
    Thanks so much for the help. When beginning this research, I assumed that such data existed for particular stars and not just whole galaxies, since the age of stars in a galaxy can vary significantly. However, since this data doesn't exist for particular stars, only for large galaxies, I'll probably have to rethink what I'm trying to do an use a different approach.
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