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An empirical determination of the dust mass absorption coefficient, κd, using the Herschel Reference Survey

Clark, Christopher Jonathan Redfern, Schofield, Simon, Gomez, Haley Louise ORCID: and Davies, Jonathan Ivor 2016. An empirical determination of the dust mass absorption coefficient, κd, using the Herschel Reference Survey. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 459 (2) , pp. 1646-1658. 10.1093/mnras/stw647

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We use the published photometry and spectroscopy of 22 galaxies in the Herschel Reference Survey to determine that the value of the dust mass absorption coefficient κ d at a wavelength of 500 μm is κ500 = (0.051 +0.070 −0.026) m^2 kg^-1. We do so by taking advantage of the fact that the dust-to-metals ratio in the interstellar medium of galaxies appears to be constant. We argue that our value for κd supersedes that of James et al. (2002) – who pioneered this approach for determining κd – because we take advantage of superior data, and account for a number of significant systematic effects that they did not consider. We comprehensively incorporate all methodological and observational contributions to establish the uncertainty on our value, which represents a marked improvement on the oft-quoted ‘order-of-magnitude’ uncertainty on κd . We find no evidence that the value of κd differs significantly between galaxies, or that it correlates with any other measured or derived galaxy properties. We note, however, that the availability of data limits our sample to relatively massive (10^9.7 < Mstar < 10&11.0 Msol ), high metallicity (8.61 < [12 + log 10 O/H] < 8.86) galaxies; future work will allow us to investigate a wider range of systems.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0035-8711
Funders: Science and Technology Facilities Council, European Research Council
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 June 2016
Date of Acceptance: 15 March 2016
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2023 16:31

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