17,429 research outputs found

    Star formation and dust extinction in nearby star forming and starburst galaxies

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    We study the star formation rate and dust extinction properties of a sample of nearby star forming galaxies as derived from Halpha and UV (2000 A) observations and we compare them to those of a sample of starburst galaxies. The dust extinction in Halpha is estimated from the Balmer decrement and the extinction in UV using the FIR to UV flux ratio or the attenuation law for starburst galaxies of Calzetti et al. The Halpha and UV emissions are strongly correlated with a very low scatter for the star forming objects and with a much higher scatter for the starburst galaxies. The Halpha to UV flux ratio is found larger by a factor ~ 2 for the starburst galaxies. We compare both samples with a purely UV selected sample of galaxies and we conclude that the mean Halpha and UV properties of nearby star forming galaxies are more representative of UV selected galaxies than starburst galaxies. We emphasize that the Halpha to UV flux ratio is strongly dependent on the dust extinction: the positive correlation found between F{Halpha}/F{UV}$ and F{FIR}/F{UV} vanishes when the Halpha and UV flux are corrected for dust extinction. The Halpha to UV flux ratios converted into star formation rate and combined with the Balmer decrement measurements are tentatively used to estimate the dust extinction in UV.Comment: accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysic

    Using machine learning to classify the diffuse interstellar bands

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    Using over a million and a half extragalactic spectra we study the correlations of the Diffuse Interstellar Bands (DIBs) in the Milky Way. We measure the correlation between DIB strength and dust extinction for 142 DIBs using 24 stacked spectra in the reddening range E(B-V) < 0.2, many more lines than ever studied before. Most of the DIBs do not correlate with dust extinction. However, we find 10 weak and barely studied DIBs with correlations that are higher than 0.7 with dust extinction and confirm the high correlation of additional 5 strong DIBs. Furthermore, we find a pair of DIBs, 5925.9A and 5927.5A which exhibits significant negative correlation with dust extinction, indicating that their carrier may be depleted on dust. We use Machine Learning algorithms to divide the DIBs to spectroscopic families based on 250 stacked spectra. By removing the dust dependency we study how DIBs follow their local environment. We thus obtain 6 groups of weak DIBs, 4 of which are tightly associated with C2 or CN absorption lines.Comment: minor changes, MNRAS accepte

    What makes red quasars red? Observational evidence for dust extinction from line ratio analysis

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    Red quasars are very red in the optical through near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths, which is possibly due to dust extinction in their host galaxies as expected in a scenario in which red quasars are an intermediate population between merger-driven star-forming galaxies and unobscured type 1 quasars. However, alternative mechanisms also exist to explain their red colors: (i) an intrinsically red continuum; (ii) an unusual high covering factor of the hot dust component, that is, CFHD=LHD/Lbol\rm CF_{HD} = {\it L}_{HD} / {\it L}_{bol}, where the LHD{L}_{\rm HD} is the luminosity from the hot dust component and the Lbol{L}_{\rm bol} is the bolometric luminosity; and (iii) a moderate viewing angle. In order to investigate why red quasars are red, we studied optical and NIR spectra of 20 red quasars at z‚ąľz\sim0.3 and 0.7, where the usage of the NIR spectra allowed us to look into red quasar properties in ways that are little affected by dust extinction. The Paschen to Balmer line ratios were derived for 13 red quasars and the values were found to be ‚ąľ\sim10 times higher than unobscured type 1 quasars, suggesting a heavy dust extinction with AV>2.5A_V > 2.5 mag. Furthermore, the Paschen to Balmer line ratios of red quasars are difficult to explain with plausible physical conditions without adopting the concept of the dust extinction. The CFHD\rm CF_{HD} of red quasars are similar to, or marginally higher than, those of unobscured type 1 quasars. The Eddington ratios, computed for 19 out of 20 red quasars, are higher than those of unobscured type 1 quasars (by factors of 3‚ąľ53 \sim 5), and hence the moderate viewing angle scenario is disfavored. Consequently, these results strongly suggest the dust extinction that is connected to an enhanced nuclear activity as the origin of the red color of red quasars, which is consistent with the merger-driven quasar evolution scenario.Comment: 14 pages, 13 figures, Accepted for publication in A&

    UVOT Measurements of Dust and Star Formation in the SMC and M33

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    When measuring star formation rates using ultraviolet light, correcting for dust extinction is a critical step. However, with the variety of dust extinction curves to choose from, the extinction correction is quite uncertain. Here, we use Swift/UVOT to measure the extinction curve for star-forming regions in the SMC and M33. We find that both the slope of the curve and the strength of the 2175 Angstrom bump vary across both galaxies. In addition, as part of our modeling, we derive a detailed recent star formation history for each galaxy.Comment: 6 pages, 5 figures, conference proceedings from Swift: 10 years of Discovery, held in Rome (2-5 Dec. 2014

    Modelling dust extinction in the Magellanic Clouds

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    We model the extinction profiles observed in the Small and Large Magellanic clouds with a synthetic population of dust grains consisting by core-mantle particles and a collection of free-flying polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. All different flavors of the extinction curves observed in the Magellanic Clouds can be described by the present model, that has been previously (successfully) applied to a large sample of diffuse and translucent lines of sight in the Milky Way. We find that in the Magellanic Clouds the extinction produced by classic grains is generally larger than absorption by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Within this model, the non-linear far-UV rise is accounted for by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, whose presence in turn is always associated to a gap in the size distribution of classical particles. This hints either a physical connection between (e.g., a common cause for) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and the absence of middle-sized dust particles, or the need for an additional component in the model, that can account for the non-linear far-UV rise without contributing to the UV bump at ‚ąľ\sim217 nm, e.g., nanodiamonds

    Milky Way dust extinction measured with QSOs

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    We investigate reddening by Milky Way dust in the low-extinction regime of EB‚ąíV<0.15E_{B-V}<0.15. Using over 50,000 QSOs at 0.5<z<2.50.5<z<2.5 from the SDSS DR7 QSO Catalogue we probe the residual SDSS colours after dereddening and correcting for the known spectroscopic redshifts. We find that the extinction vector of Schlafly & Finkbeiner (2011) is a better fit to the data than that used by Schlegel et al. (1998, SFD). There is evidence for a non-linearity in the SFD reddening map, which is similarly present in the V1.2 map of the Planck Collaboration. This non-linearity is similarly seen when galaxies or stars are used as probes of the SFD map.Comment: 7 pages, 5 figures, MNRAS, accepte

    Intergalactic Dust Extinction in Hydrodynamic Cosmological Simulations

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    Recently Menard et al. detected a subtle but systematic change in the mean color of quasars as a function of their projected separation from foreground galaxies, extending to comoving separations of ~10Mpc/h, which they interpret as a signature of reddening by intergalactic dust. We present theoretical models of this remarkable observation, using SPH cosmological simulations of a (50Mpc/h)^3 volume. Our primary model uses a simulation with galactic winds and assumes that dust traces the intergalactic metals. The predicted galaxy-dust correlation function is similar in form to the galaxy-mass correlation function, and reproducing the MSFR data requires a dust-to-metal mass ratio of 0.24, about half the value in the Galactic ISM. Roughly half of the reddening arises in dust that is more than 100Kpc/h from the nearest massive galaxy. We also examine a simulation with no galactic winds, which predicts a much smaller fraction of intergalactic metals (3% vs. 35%) and therefore requires an unphysical dust-to-metal ratio of 2.18 to reproduce the MSFR data. In both models, the signal is dominated by sightlines with E(g-i)=0.001-0.1. The no-wind simulation can be reconciled with the data if we also allow reddening to arise in galaxies up to several x 10^10 Msun. The wind model predicts a mean visual extinction of A_V ~0.0133 mag out to z=0.5, with a sightline-to-sightline dispersion similar to the mean, which could be significant for future supernova cosmology studies. Reproducing the MSFR results in these simulations requires that a large fraction of ISM dust survive its expulsion from galaxies and its residence in the intergalactic medium. Future observational studies that provide higher precision and measure the dependence on galaxy type and environment will allow detailed tests for models of enriched galactic outflows and the survival of IG dust.Comment: Matches version accepted by MNRA

    Dust in the Local Group

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    How dust absorbs and scatters starlight as a function of wavelength (known as the interstellar extinction curve) is crucial for correcting for the effects of dust extinction in inferring the true luminosity and colors of reddened astrophysical objects. Together with the extinction spectral features, the extinction curve contains important information about the dust size distribution and composition. This review summarizes our current knowledge of the dust extinction of the Milky Way, three Local Group galaxies (i.e., the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds, and M31), and galaxies beyond the Local Group.Comment: 21 pages, 11 figures; invited review article published in "LESSONS FROM THE LOCAL GROUP -- A Conference in Honour of David Block and Bruce Elmegreen" eds. Freeman, K.C., Elmegreen, B.G., Block, D.L. & Woolway, M. (SPRINGER: NEW YORK), pp. 85-10
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