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Dust in spiral galaxies: global properties

Stevens, J. A., Amure, M. and Gear, Walter Kieran ORCID: 2005. Dust in spiral galaxies: global properties. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 357 (1) , pp. 361-380. 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.08668.x

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We present and analyse high-quality Submillimetre Common-User Bolometer Array (SCUBA) 850- and 450-μm images of 14 local spiral galaxies, including the detection of dust well out into the extended disc in many cases. We use these data in conjunction with published far-infrared flux densities from IRAS and ISO, and millimetre-wave measurements from ground-based facilities to deduce the global properties of the dust in these galaxies, in particular temperature and mass. We find that simple two-temperature greybody models of fixed dust emissivity index β= 2 and with typical temperatures of 25 < Twarm < 40 K and 10 < Tcold < 20 K provide good fits to the overall spectral energy distributions. The dust mass in the cold component correlates with the mass in atomic hydrogen and the mass in the warm component correlates with the mass in molecular hydrogen. These results thus fit the simple picture in which the cold dust is heated predominantly by the interstellar radiation field, while the hot dust is heated predominantly by OB stars in more active regions, although we argue that there is some mixing. The mean gas-to-dust mass ratio is 120 ± 60, very similar to that found within our own galaxy and roughly a factor of 10 lower than that derived from IRAS data alone. The gas-to-dust mass ratios in the warm, molecular component are on average higher than those in the cold, atomic component. We compare our modelling results with similar results for more luminous spiral galaxies selected at far-infrared wavelengths by the SCUBA Local Universe Galaxy Survey. We find that whilst the total dust mass distributions of the two samples are indistinguishable, they have significantly different dust temperature distributions in both the warm and cold components. We suggest that this difference might be related to the level of star formation activity in these systems, with the more active galaxies having more intense interstellar radiation fields and higher dust temperatures.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Uncontrolled Keywords: galaxies:ISM ; galaxies:spiral ; submillimetre
Publisher: John Wiley
ISSN: 0035-8711
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 09:17

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