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Isothermal dust models of Herschel-ATLAS star galaxies

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Abstract
We use galaxies from the Herschel-ATLAS (H-ATLAS) survey, and a suite of ancillary simulations based on an isothermal dust model, to study our ability to determine the effective dust temperature, luminosity and emissivity index of 250 mu m selected galaxies in the local Universe (z < 0.5). As well as simple far-infrared spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting of individual galaxies based on chi(2) minimization, we attempt to derive the best global isothermal properties of 13 826 galaxies with reliable optical counterparts and spectroscopic redshifts. Using our simulations, we highlight the fact that applying traditional SED fitting techniques to noisy observational data in the Herschel Space Observatory bands introduces artificial anti-correlation between derived values of dust temperature and emissivity index. This is true even for galaxies with the most robust statistical detections in our sample, making the results of such fitting difficult to interpret. We apply a method to determine the best-fitting global values of isothermal effective temperature and emissivity index for z < 0.5 galaxies in H-ATLAS, deriving T-eff = 22.3 +/- 0.1 K and beta = 1.98 +/- 0.02 (or T-eff = 23.5 +/- 0.1 K and beta = 1.82 +/- 0.02 if we attempt to correct for bias by assuming that T-eff and beta(eff) are independent and normally distributed). We use our technique to test for an evolving emissivity index, finding only weak evidence. The median dust luminosity of our sample is log(10)(L-dust/L-circle dot) = 10.72 +/- 0.05, which (unlike T-eff) shows little dependence on the choice of beta used in our analysis, including whether it is variable or fixed. In addition, we use a further suite of simulations based on a fixed emissivity index isothermal model to emphasize the importance of the H-ATLAS PACS data for deriving dust temperatures at these redshifts, even though they are considerably less sensitive than the SPIRE data. Finally, we show that the majority of galaxies detected by H-ATLAS are normal star-forming galaxies, though with a substantial minority (similar to 31 per cent) falling in the Luminous Infrared Galaxy category.
Keywords
galaxies: starburst, submillimetre: galaxies, SCIENCE DEMONSTRATION PHASE, CONTINUUM OBSERVATIONS, REDSHIFT DISTRIBUTION, MILLIMETER CONTINUUM, EXTRAGALACTIC SURVEY, PHYSICAL-PROPERTIES, GALACTIC CIRRUS, DIGITAL SKY SURVEY, SPECTRAL ENERGY-DISTRIBUTIONS, FAR-INFRARED PROPERTIES

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Chicago
Smith, DJB, MJ Hardcastle, MJ Jarvis, SJ Maddox, L Dunne, DG Bonfield, S Eales, et al. 2013. “Isothermal Dust Models of Herschel-ATLAS Star Galaxies.” Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 436 (3): 2435–2453.
APA
Smith, DJB, Hardcastle, M., Jarvis, M., Maddox, S., Dunne, L., Bonfield, D., Eales, S., et al. (2013). Isothermal dust models of Herschel-ATLAS star galaxies. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 436(3), 2435–2453.
Vancouver
1.
Smith D, Hardcastle M, Jarvis M, Maddox S, Dunne L, Bonfield D, et al. Isothermal dust models of Herschel-ATLAS star galaxies. MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY. 2013;436(3):2435–53.
MLA
Smith, DJB, MJ Hardcastle, MJ Jarvis, et al. “Isothermal Dust Models of Herschel-ATLAS Star Galaxies.” MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY 436.3 (2013): 2435–2453. Print.
@article{4385190,
  abstract     = {We use galaxies from the Herschel-ATLAS (H-ATLAS) survey, and a suite of ancillary simulations based on an isothermal dust model, to study our ability to determine the effective dust temperature, luminosity and emissivity index of 250 mu m selected galaxies in the local Universe (z {\textlangle} 0.5). As well as simple far-infrared spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting of individual galaxies based on chi(2) minimization, we attempt to derive the best global isothermal properties of 13 826 galaxies with reliable optical counterparts and spectroscopic redshifts. Using our simulations, we highlight the fact that applying traditional SED fitting techniques to noisy observational data in the Herschel Space Observatory bands introduces artificial anti-correlation between derived values of dust temperature and emissivity index. This is true even for galaxies with the most robust statistical detections in our sample, making the results of such fitting difficult to interpret. We apply a method to determine the best-fitting global values of isothermal effective temperature and emissivity index for z {\textlangle} 0.5 galaxies in H-ATLAS, deriving T-eff = 22.3 +/- 0.1 K and beta = 1.98 +/- 0.02 (or T-eff = 23.5 +/- 0.1 K and beta = 1.82 +/- 0.02 if we attempt to correct for bias by assuming that T-eff and beta(eff) are independent and normally distributed). We use our technique to test for an evolving emissivity index, finding only weak evidence. The median dust luminosity of our sample is log(10)(L-dust/L-circle dot) = 10.72 +/- 0.05, which (unlike T-eff) shows little dependence on the choice of beta used in our analysis, including whether it is variable or fixed. In addition, we use a further suite of simulations based on a fixed emissivity index isothermal model to emphasize the importance of the H-ATLAS PACS data for deriving dust temperatures at these redshifts, even though they are considerably less sensitive than the SPIRE data. Finally, we show that the majority of galaxies detected by H-ATLAS are normal star-forming galaxies, though with a substantial minority (similar to 31 per cent) falling in the Luminous Infrared Galaxy category.},
  author       = {Smith, DJB and Hardcastle, MJ and Jarvis, MJ and Maddox, SJ and Dunne, L and Bonfield, DG and Eales, S and Serjeant, S and Thompson, MA and Baes, Maarten and Clements, DL and Cooray, A and De Zotti, G and Gonz{\`a}lez-Nuevo, J and van der Werf, P and Virdee, J and Bourne, N and Dariush, A and Hopwood, R and Ibar, E and Valiante, E},
  issn         = {0035-8711},
  journal      = {MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY},
  keyword      = {galaxies: starburst,submillimetre: galaxies,SCIENCE DEMONSTRATION PHASE,CONTINUUM OBSERVATIONS,REDSHIFT DISTRIBUTION,MILLIMETER CONTINUUM,EXTRAGALACTIC SURVEY,PHYSICAL-PROPERTIES,GALACTIC CIRRUS,DIGITAL SKY SURVEY,SPECTRAL ENERGY-DISTRIBUTIONS,FAR-INFRARED PROPERTIES},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {2435--2453},
  title        = {Isothermal dust models of Herschel-ATLAS star galaxies},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stt1737},
  volume       = {436},
  year         = {2013},
}

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