The central region of spiral galaxies as seen by Herschel. M81, M99 and M100

05/2010; DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201014588
Source: arXiv

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: Aims: The Herschel-ATLAS survey (H-ATLAS) will be the largest area survey to be undertaken by the Herschel Space Observatory. It will cover 550 sq. deg. of extragalactic sky at wavelengths of 100, 160, 250, 350 and 500 mum when completed, reaching flux limits (5sigma) from 32 to 145 mJy. We here present galaxy number counts obtained for SPIRE observations of the first ~14 sq. deg. observed at 250, 350 and 500 mum. Methods: Number counts are a fundamental tool in constraining models of galaxy evolution. We use source catalogs extracted from the H-ATLAS maps as the basis for such an analysis. Correction factors for completeness and flux boosting are derived by applying our extraction method to model catalogs and then applied to the raw observational counts. Results: We find a steep rise in the number counts at flux levels of 100-200 mJy in all three SPIRE bands, consistent with results from BLAST. The counts are compared to a range of galaxy evolution models. None of the current models is an ideal fit to the data but all ascribe the steep rise to a population of luminous, rapidly evolving dusty galaxies at moderate to high redshift. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.
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    ABSTRACT: The Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE), is the Herschel Space Observatory`s submillimetre camera and spectrometer. It contains a three-band imaging photometer operating at 250, 350 and 500 microns, and an imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) which covers simultaneously its whole operating range of 194-671 microns (447-1550 GHz). The SPIRE detectors are arrays of feedhorn-coupled bolometers cooled to 0.3 K. The photometer has a field of view of 4' x 8', observed simultaneously in the three spectral bands. Its main operating mode is scan-mapping, whereby the field of view is scanned across the sky to achieve full spatial sampling and to cover large areas if desired. The spectrometer has an approximately circular field of view with a diameter of 2.6'. The spectral resolution can be adjusted between 1.2 and 25 GHz by changing the stroke length of the FTS scan mirror. Its main operating mode involves a fixed telescope pointing with multiple scans of the FTS mirror to acquire spectral data. For extended source measurements, multiple position offsets are implemented by means of an internal beam steering mirror to achieve the desired spatial sampling and by rastering of the telescope pointing to map areas larger than the field of view. The SPIRE instrument consists of a cold focal plane unit located inside the Herschel cryostat and warm electronics units, located on the spacecraft Service Module, for instrument control and data handling. Science data are transmitted to Earth with no on-board data compression, and processed by automatic pipelines to produce calibrated science products. The in-flight performance of the instrument matches or exceeds predictions based on pre-launch testing and modelling: the photometer sensitivity is comparable to or slightly better than estimated pre-launch, and the spectrometer sensitivity is also better by a factor of 1.5-2. Comment: Accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophyics (Herschel first results special issue)
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 05/2010; 518(L3). · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We use Herschel Space Observatory data to place observational constraints on the peak and Rayleigh-Jeans slope of dust emission observed at 70-500 microns in the nearby spiral galaxy M81. We find that the ratios of wave bands between 160 and 500 microns are primarily dependent on radius but that the ratio of 70 to 160 micron emission shows no clear dependence on surface brightness or radius. These results along with analyses of the spectral energy distributions imply that the 160-500 micron emission traces 15-30 K dust heated by evolved stars in the bulge and disc whereas the 70 micron emission includes dust heated by the active galactic nucleus and young stars in star forming regions. Comment: Accepted for A & A Herschel special issue

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