The central region of spiral galaxies as seen by Herschel. M81, M99 and M100
ABSTRACT With appropriate spatial resolution, images of spiral galaxies in thermal infrared (~10 micron and beyond) often reveal a bright central component, distinct from the stellar bulge, superimposed on a disk with prominent spiral arms. ISO and Spitzer studies have shown that much of the scatter in the mid-infrared colors of spiral galaxies is related to changes in the relative importance of these two components, rather than to other modifications, such as the morphological type or star formation rate, that affect the properties of the galaxy as a whole. With the Herschel imaging capability from 70 to 500 micron, we revisit this two-component approach at longer wavelengths, to see if it still provides a working description of the brightness distribution of galaxies, and to determine its implications on the interpretation of global far-infrared properties of galaxies. Comment: 5 pages, 2 figures, accepted for the A&A Herschel Special Issue
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ABSTRACT: We examined variations in the 160/250 and 250/350 micron surface brightness ratios within 24 nearby (<30 Mpc) face-on spiral galaxies observed with the Herschel Space Observatory to identify the heating mechanisms for dust emitting at these wavelengths. The analysis consisted of both qualitative and quantitative comparisons of the 160/250 and 250/350 micron ratios to H alpha and 24 micron surface brightnesses, which trace the light from star forming regions, and 3.6 micron emission, which traces the light from the older stellar populations of the galaxies. We find broad variations in the heating mechanisms for the dust. In one subset of galaxies, we found evidence that emission at <=160 microns (and in rare cases potentially at <=350 microns) originates from dust heated by star forming regions. In another subset, we found that the emission at >=250 microns (and sometimes at >=160 microns) originates from dust heated by the older stellar population. In the rest of the sample, either the results are indeterminate or both of these stellar populations may contribute equally to the global dust heating. The observed variations in dust heating mechanisms does not necessarily match what has been predicted by dust emission and radiative transfer models, which could lead to overestimated dust temperatures, underestimated dust masses, false detections of variability in dust emissivity, and inaccurate star formation rate measurements.Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 09/2014; 448(1). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stu1841 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We present new 12CO(1-0) observations of 59 late-type galaxies belonging to the Herschel Reference Survey (HRS), a complete K-band-selected, volume-limited (15 <D< 25 Mpc) sample of nearby galaxies spanning a wide range in morphological type and luminosity. We studied different recipes to correct single-beam observations of nearby galaxies of different sizes and inclinations for aperture effects. This was done by comparing single-beam and multiple-beam observations along the major axis, which were corrected for aperture effects using different empirical or analytical prescriptions, to integrated maps of several nearby galaxies, including edge-on systems observed by different surveys. The resulting recipe is an analytical function determined by assuming that late-type galaxies are 3D exponentially declining discs with a characteristic scale length r_CO} = 0.2 r_24.5, where r_24.5 is the optical, g- (or B-) band isophotal radius at the 24.5 mag arcsec^-2 (25 mag arcsec^-2), as well as a scale height z_CO = 1/100 r_24.5. Our new CO data are then combined with those available in the literature to produce the most updated catalogue of CO observations for the HRS, now including 225 out of the 322 galaxies of the complete sample. The 3D exponential disc integration is applied to all the galaxies of the sample to measure their total CO fluxes, which are later transformed into molecular gas masses using a constant and a luminosity-dependent X_CO conversion factor. We also collect HI data for 315 HRS galaxies from the literature and present it in a homogenised form.Astronomy and Astrophysics 01/2014; 564. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201322311 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: By combining Herschel-SPIRE data with archival Spitzer, H i , and CO maps, we investigate the spatial distribution of gas and dust in the two famous grand-design spirals M 99 and M 100 in the Virgo cluster. Thanks to the unique resolution and sensitivity of the Herschel-SPIRE photometer, we are for the first time able to measure the distribution and extent of cool, submillimetre (submm)-emitting dust inside and beyond the optical radius. We compare this with the radial variation in both the gas mass and the metallicity. Although we adopt a model-independent, phenomenological approach, our analysis provides important insights. We find the dust extending to at least the optical radius of the galaxy and showing breaks in its radial profiles at similar positions as the stellar distribution. The colour indices f350/f500 and f250/f350 decrease radially consistent with the temperature decreasing with radius. We also find evidence of an increasing gas to dust ratio with radius in the outer regions of both galaxies.