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Far-infrared colours of nearby late-type galaxies in the Herschel Reference Survey

Boselli, A., Ciesla, L., Cortese, L., Buat, V., Boquien, M., Bendo, G. J., Boissier, S., Eales, Stephen Anthony, Gavazzi, G., Hughes, T. M., Pohlen, Michael, Smith, Matthew, Baes, M., Bianchi, S., Clements, D. L., Cooray, A., Davies, Jonathan Ivor, Gear, Walter Kieran, Madden, S., Magrini, L., Panuzzo, P., Remy, A., Spinoglio, L. and Zibetti, S. 2012. Far-infrared colours of nearby late-type galaxies in the Herschel Reference Survey. Astronomy & Astrophysics 540 , A54. 10.1051/0004-6361/201118602

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Abstract

We study the far infrared (60–500 μm) colours of late-type galaxies in the Herschel Reference Survey, a K-band selected, volume limited sample of nearby galaxies. The far infrared colours are correlated with each other, with tighter correlations for the indices that are closer in wavelength. We also compare the different colour indices to various tracers of the physical properties of the target galaxies, such as the surface brightness of the ionising and non-ionising stellar radiation, the dust attenuation and the metallicity. The emission properties of the cold dust dominating the far infrared spectral domain are regulated by the properties of the interstellar radiation field. Consistent with that observed in nearby, resolved galaxies, our analysis shows that the ionising and the non-ionising stellar radiation, including that emitted by the most evolved, cold stars, both contribute to the heating of the cold dust component. This work also shows that metallicity is another key parameter characterising the cold dust emission of normal, late-type galaxies. A single modified black body with a grain emissivity index β = 1.5 better fits the observed SPIRE flux density ratios S250/S350 vs. S350/S500 than β = 2, although values of β ≃ 2 are possible in metal rich, high surface brightness galaxies. Values of β ≲ 1.5 better represent metal poor, lowsurface brightness objects. This observational evidence provides strong constraints for dust emission models of normal, late type galaxies.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Uncontrolled Keywords: infrared: galaxies / galaxies: spiral / galaxies: ISM
Additional Information: 22 pp. Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/0004-6361/ (accessed 27/02/2014)
Publisher: EDP Sciences
ISSN: 0004-6361
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2017 16:00
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/23364

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