We infer stellar metallicity and abundance ratio gradients for a sample of red galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Main galaxy sample. Because this sample does not have multiple spectra at various radii in a single galaxy, we measure these gradients statistically. We separate galaxies into stellar mass bins, stack their spectra in redshift bins, and calculate the measured absorption-line indices in projected annuli by differencing spectra in neighboring redshift bins. After determining the line indices, we use stellar population modeling from the EZ_Ages software to calculate ages, metallicities, and abundance ratios within each annulus. Our data cover the central regions of these galaxies, out to slightly higher than 1Re. We find detectable gradients in metallicity and relatively shallow gradients in abundance ratios, similar to results found for direct measurements of individual galaxies. The gradients are only weakly dependent on stellar mass, and this dependence is well correlated with the change of Re with mass. Based on these data, we report mean equivalent widths, metallicities, and abundance ratios as a function of mass and velocity dispersion for SDSS early-type galaxies, for fixed apertures of 2.5 kpc and of 0.5Re.
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Funding for the SDSS and SDSS-II has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, the Max Planck Society, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The SDSS Web Site is http://www.sdss.org/. The SDSS is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions. The Participating Institutions are the American Museum of Natural History, Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, University of Basel, University of Cambridge, Case Western Reserve University, University of Chicago, Drexel University, Fermilab, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Japan Participation Group, Johns Hopkins University, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics, the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, the Korean Scientist Group, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (LAMOST), Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), New Mexico State University, Ohio State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the United States Naval Observatory, and the University of Washington.
Roig, Benjamin; Blanton, Michael R.; and Yan, Renbin, "Stellar Metallicity Gradients in SDSS Galaxies" (2015). Physics and Astronomy Faculty Publications. 334.