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GAMA/H-ATLAS: the ultraviolet spectral slope and obscuration in galaxies

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Abstract
We use multiwavelength data from the Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) and Herschel-ATLAS (H-ATLAS) surveys to compare the relationship between various dust obscuration measures in galaxies. We explore the connections between the ultraviolet (UV) spectral slope, beta, the Balmer decrement and the far-infrared (FIR) to 150 nm far/ultraviolet (FUV) luminosity ratio. We explore trends with galaxy mass, star formation rate (SFR) and redshift in order to identify possible systematics in these various measures. We reiterate the finding of other authors that there is a large scatter between the Balmer decrement and the beta parameter, and that beta may be poorly constrained when derived from only two broad passbands in the UV. We also emphasize that FUV-derived SFRs, corrected for dust obscuration using beta, will be overestimated unless a modified relation between beta and the attenuation factor is used. Even in the optimum case, the resulting SFRs have a significant scatter, well over an order of magnitude. While there is a stronger correlation between the IR-to-FUV luminosity ratio and beta parameter than with the Balmer decrement, neither of these correlations are particularly tight, and dust corrections based on beta for high-redshift galaxy SFRs must be treated with caution. We conclude with a description of the extent to which the different obscuration measures are consistent with each other as well as the effects of including other galactic properties on these correlations.
Keywords
INITIAL MASS FUNCTION, galaxies: general, STAR-FORMATION RATE, galaxies: formation, galaxies: evolution, DIGITAL SKY SURVEY, UV-CONTINUUM SLOPE, FORMATION RATES, STARBURST GALAXIES, FORMATION HISTORY, DUST OBSCURATION, ASSEMBLY GAMA, ENERGY-DISTRIBUTIONS

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Citation

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Chicago
Wijesinghe, DB, E da Cunha, AM Hopkins, L Dunne, R Sharp, M Gunawardhana, S Brough, et al. 2011. “GAMA/H-ATLAS: The Ultraviolet Spectral Slope and Obscuration in Galaxies.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 415 (2): 1002–1012.
APA
Wijesinghe, D., da Cunha, E., Hopkins, A., Dunne, L., Sharp, R., Gunawardhana, M., Brough, S., et al. (2011). GAMA/H-ATLAS: the ultraviolet spectral slope and obscuration in galaxies. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 415(2), 1002–1012.
Vancouver
1.
Wijesinghe D, da Cunha E, Hopkins A, Dunne L, Sharp R, Gunawardhana M, et al. GAMA/H-ATLAS: the ultraviolet spectral slope and obscuration in galaxies. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY. 2011;415(2):1002–12.
MLA
Wijesinghe, DB, E da Cunha, AM Hopkins, et al. “GAMA/H-ATLAS: The Ultraviolet Spectral Slope and Obscuration in Galaxies.” MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 415.2 (2011): 1002–1012. Print.
@article{2114082,
  abstract     = {We use multiwavelength data from the Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) and Herschel-ATLAS (H-ATLAS) surveys to compare the relationship between various dust obscuration measures in galaxies. We explore the connections between the ultraviolet (UV) spectral slope, beta, the Balmer decrement and the far-infrared (FIR) to 150 nm far/ultraviolet (FUV) luminosity ratio. We explore trends with galaxy mass, star formation rate (SFR) and redshift in order to identify possible systematics in these various measures. We reiterate the finding of other authors that there is a large scatter between the Balmer decrement and the beta parameter, and that beta may be poorly constrained when derived from only two broad passbands in the UV. We also emphasize that FUV-derived SFRs, corrected for dust obscuration using beta, will be overestimated unless a modified relation between beta and the attenuation factor is used. Even in the optimum case, the resulting SFRs have a significant scatter, well over an order of magnitude. While there is a stronger correlation between the IR-to-FUV luminosity ratio and beta parameter than with the Balmer decrement, neither of these correlations are particularly tight, and dust corrections based on beta for high-redshift galaxy SFRs must be treated with caution. We conclude with a description of the extent to which the different obscuration measures are consistent with each other as well as the effects of including other galactic properties on these correlations.},
  author       = {Wijesinghe, DB and da Cunha, E and Hopkins, AM and Dunne, L and Sharp, R and Gunawardhana, M and Brough, S and Sadler, EM and Driver, S and Baldry, I and Bamford, S and Liske, J and Loveday, J and Norberg, P and Peacock, J and Popescu, CC and Tuffs, R and Andrae, E and Auld, R and Baes, Maarten and Bland-Hawthorn, J and Buttiglione, S and Cava, A and Cameron, E and Conselice, CJ and Cooray, A and Croom, S and Dariush, A and DeZotti, G and Dye, S and Eales, S and Frenk, C and Fritz, Jacopo and Hill, D and Hopwood, R and Ibar, E and Ivison, R and Jarvis, M and Jones, DH and van Kampen, E and Kelvin, L and Kuijken, K and Maddox, SJ and Madore, B and Michalowski, MJ and Nichol, B and Parkinson, H and Pascale, E and Pimbblet, KA and Pohlen, M and Prescott, M and Rhodighiero, G and Robotham, ASG and Rigby, EE and Seibert, M and Sergeant, S and Smith, DJB and Temi, P and Sutherland, W and Taylor, E and Thomas, D and van der Werf, P},
  issn         = {0035-8711},
  journal      = {MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY},
  keyword      = {INITIAL MASS FUNCTION,galaxies: general,STAR-FORMATION RATE,galaxies: formation,galaxies: evolution,DIGITAL SKY SURVEY,UV-CONTINUUM SLOPE,FORMATION RATES,STARBURST GALAXIES,FORMATION HISTORY,DUST OBSCURATION,ASSEMBLY GAMA,ENERGY-DISTRIBUTIONS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {1002--1012},
  title        = {GAMA/H-ATLAS: the ultraviolet spectral slope and obscuration in galaxies},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18615.x},
  volume       = {415},
  year         = {2011},
}

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