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High-resolution, 3D radiative transfer modeling, I : the grand-design spiral galaxy M 51

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Abstract
Context. Dust reprocesses about half of the stellar radiation in galaxies. The thermal re-emission by dust of absorbed energy is considered to be driven merely by young stars so is often applied to tracing the star formation rate in galaxies. Recent studies have argued that the old stellar population might be responsible for a non-negligible fraction of the radiative dust heating. Aims. In this work, we aim to analyze the contribution of young (less than or similar to 100 Myr) and old (similar to 10 Gyr) stellar populations to radiative dust heating processes in the nearby grand-design spiral galaxy M 51 using radiative transfer modeling. High-resolution 3D radiative transfer (RT) models are required to describe the complex morphologies of asymmetric spiral arms and clumpy star-forming regions and to model the propagation of light through a dusty medium. Methods. In this paper, we present a new technique developed to model the radiative transfer effects in nearby face-on galaxies. We construct a high-resolution 3D radiative transfer model with the Monte-Carlo code SKIRT to account for the absorption, scattering, and non-local thermal equilibrium (NLTE) emission of dust in M51. The 3D distribution of stars is derived from the 2D morphology observed in the IRAC 3.6 mu m, GALEX FUV, H alpha, and MIPS 24 mu m wavebands, assuming an exponential vertical distribution with an appropriate scale height. The dust geometry is constrained through the far-ultraviolet (FUV) attenuation, which is derived from the observed total-infrared-to-far-ultraviolet luminosity ratio. The stellar luminosity, star formation rate, and dust mass have been scaled to reproduce the observed stellar spectral energy distribution (SED), FUV attenuation, and infrared SED. Results. The dust emission derived from RT calculations is consistent with far-infrared and submillimeter observations of M51, implying that the absorbed stellar energy is balanced by the thermal re-emission of dust. The young stars provide 63% of the energy for heating the dust responsible for the total infrared emission (8-1000 mu m), while 37% of the dust emission is governed through heating by the evolved stellar population. In individual wavebands, the contribution from young stars to the dust heating dominates at all infrared wavebands but gradually decreases towards longer infrared and submillimeter wavebands for which the old stellar population becomes a non-negligible source of heating. Upon extrapolation of the results for M51, we present prescriptions for estimating the contribution of young stars to the global dust heating based on a tight correlation between the dust heating fraction and specific star formation rate.
Keywords
dust, radiative transfer, extinction, galaxies: individual: M 51, galaxies: ISM, infrared: galaxies, HERSCHEL REFERENCE SURVEY, STAR-FORMING GALAXIES, SPECTRAL ENERGY-DISTRIBUTION, LARGE-MAGELLANIC-CLOUD, INITIAL MASS FUNCTION, DIGITAL SKY SURVEY, EDGE-ON GALAXIES, POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC-HYDROCARBONS, MULTIBAND IMAGING PHOTOMETER, SPITZER-SPACE-TELESCOPE

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Chicago
De Looze, Ilse, Jacopo Fritz, Maarten Baes, George J Bendo, Luca Cortese, Médéric Boquien, Alessandro Boselli, et al. 2014. “High-resolution, 3D Radiative Transfer Modeling, I : the Grand-design Spiral Galaxy M 51.” Astronomy & Astrophysics 571.
APA
De Looze, Ilse, Fritz, J., Baes, M., Bendo, G. J., Cortese, L., Boquien, M., Boselli, A., et al. (2014). High-resolution, 3D radiative transfer modeling, I : the grand-design spiral galaxy M 51. ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS, 571.
Vancouver
1.
De Looze I, Fritz J, Baes M, Bendo GJ, Cortese L, Boquien M, et al. High-resolution, 3D radiative transfer modeling, I : the grand-design spiral galaxy M 51. ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS. 2014;571.
MLA
De Looze, Ilse, Jacopo Fritz, Maarten Baes, et al. “High-resolution, 3D Radiative Transfer Modeling, I : the Grand-design Spiral Galaxy M 51.” ASTRONOMY & ASTROPHYSICS 571 (2014): n. pag. Print.
@article{5921047,
  abstract     = {Context. Dust reprocesses about half of the stellar radiation in galaxies. The thermal re-emission by dust of absorbed energy is considered to be driven merely by young stars so is often applied to tracing the star formation rate in galaxies. Recent studies have argued that the old stellar population might be responsible for a non-negligible fraction of the radiative dust heating. 
Aims. In this work, we aim to analyze the contribution of young (less than or similar to 100 Myr) and old (similar to 10 Gyr) stellar populations to radiative dust heating processes in the nearby grand-design spiral galaxy M 51 using radiative transfer modeling. High-resolution 3D radiative transfer (RT) models are required to describe the complex morphologies of asymmetric spiral arms and clumpy star-forming regions and to model the propagation of light through a dusty medium. 
Methods. In this paper, we present a new technique developed to model the radiative transfer effects in nearby face-on galaxies. We construct a high-resolution 3D radiative transfer model with the Monte-Carlo code SKIRT to account for the absorption, scattering, and non-local thermal equilibrium (NLTE) emission of dust in M51. The 3D distribution of stars is derived from the 2D morphology observed in the IRAC 3.6 mu m, GALEX FUV, H alpha, and MIPS 24 mu m wavebands, assuming an exponential vertical distribution with an appropriate scale height. The dust geometry is constrained through the far-ultraviolet (FUV) attenuation, which is derived from the observed total-infrared-to-far-ultraviolet luminosity ratio. The stellar luminosity, star formation rate, and dust mass have been scaled to reproduce the observed stellar spectral energy distribution (SED), FUV attenuation, and infrared SED. 
Results. The dust emission derived from RT calculations is consistent with far-infrared and submillimeter observations of M51, implying that the absorbed stellar energy is balanced by the thermal re-emission of dust. The young stars provide 63\% of the energy for heating the dust responsible for the total infrared emission (8-1000 mu m), while 37\% of the dust emission is governed through heating by the evolved stellar population. In individual wavebands, the contribution from young stars to the dust heating dominates at all infrared wavebands but gradually decreases towards longer infrared and submillimeter wavebands for which the old stellar population becomes a non-negligible source of heating. Upon extrapolation of the results for M51, we present prescriptions for estimating the contribution of young stars to the global dust heating based on a tight correlation between the dust heating fraction and specific star formation rate.},
  articleno    = {A69},
  author       = {De Looze, Ilse and Fritz, Jacopo and Baes, Maarten and Bendo, George J and Cortese, Luca and Boquien, M{\'e}d{\'e}ric and Boselli, Alessandro and Camps, Peter and Cooray, Asantha and Cormier, Diane and Davies, Jon I and De Geyter, Gert and Hughes, Thomas and Jones, Anthony P and Karczewski, O\unmatched{0141} and Lebouteiller, Vianney and Lu, Nanyao and Madden, Suzanne C and R{\'e}my-Ruyer, Aur{\'e}lie and Spinoglio, Luigi and Smith, Matthew WL and Viaene, S{\'e}bastien and Wilson, Christine D},
  issn         = {0004-6361},
  journal      = {ASTRONOMY \& ASTROPHYSICS},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {23},
  title        = {High-resolution, 3D radiative transfer modeling, I : the grand-design spiral galaxy M 51},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201424747},
  volume       = {571},
  year         = {2014},
}

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