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High-resolution radiative transfer modelling of M33

Williams, T. G ORCID:, Baes, M, De Looze, I, Relano, M, Smith, M. W. L ORCID:, Verstocken, S and Viaene, S 2019. High-resolution radiative transfer modelling of M33. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 487 (2) , pp. 2753-2770. 10.1093/mnras/stz1441

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In this work, we characterise the contributions from both ongoing star formation and the ambient radiation field in Local Group galaxy M33, as well as estimate the scale of the local dust-energy balance (i.e. the scale at which the dust is re-emitting starlight generated in that same region) in this galaxy through high-resolution radiative transfer (RT) modelling, with defined stellar and dust geometries. We have characterised the spectral energy distribution (SED) of M33 from UV to sub-mm wavelengths, at a spatial scale of 100 pc. We constructed input maps of the various stellar and dust geometries for use in the RT modelling. By modifying our dust mix (fewer very small carbon grains and a lower silicate-to-carbon ratio as compared to the Milky Way), we can much better fit the sub-mm dust continuum. Using this new dust composition, we find that we are able to well reproduce the observed SED of M33 using our adopted model. In terms of stellar attenuation by dust, we find a reasonably strong, broad UV bump, as well as significant systematic differences in the amount of dust attenuation when compared to standard SED modelling. We also find discrepancies in the residuals of the spiral arms versus the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM), indicating a difference in properties between these two regimes. The dust emission is dominated by heating due to the young stellar populations at all wavelengths (∼80% at 10 μm to ∼50% at 1 mm). We find that the local dust-energy balance is restored at spatial scales greater than around 1.5 kpc.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0035-8711
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 June 2019
Date of Acceptance: 21 May 2019
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2023 08:58

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