K. Misselt

The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, United States

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Publications (251)905.02 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We define an appropriate problem for benchmarking dust emissivity calculations in the context of radiative transfer (RT) simulations, specifically including the emission from stochastically heated dust grains. Our aim is to provide a self-contained guide for implementors of such functionality, and to offer insights in the effects of the various approximations and heuristics implemented by the participating codes to accelerate the calculations. The benchmark problem definition includes the optical and calorimetric material properties, and the grain size distributions, for a typical astronomical dust mixture with silicate, graphite and PAH components; a series of analytically defined radiation fields to which the dust population is to be exposed; and instructions for the desired output. We process this problem using six RT codes participating in this benchmark effort, and compare the results to a reference solution computed with the publicly available dust emission code DustEM. The participating codes implement different heuristics to keep the calculation time at an acceptable level. We study the effects of these mechanisms on the calculated solutions, and report on the level of (dis)agreement between the participating codes. For all but the most extreme input fields, we find agreement within 10% across the important wavelength range from 3 to 1000 micron. We conclude that the relevant modules in RT codes can and do produce fairly consistent results for the emissivity spectra of stochastically heated dust grains.
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    ABSTRACT: Observations from the HERschel Inventory of the Agents of Galaxy Evolution (HERITAGE) have been used to identify dusty populations of sources in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC and SMC). We conducted the study using the HERITAGE catalogs of point sources available from the Herschel Science Center from both the Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS; 100 and 160 mu m) and Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE; 250, 350, and 500 mu m) cameras. These catalogs are matched to each other to create a Herschel band-merged catalog and then further matched to archival Spitzer IRAC and MIPS catalogs from the Spitzer Surveying the Agents of Galaxy Evolution (SAGE) and SAGE-SMC surveys to create single mid- to far-infrared (far-IR) point source catalogs that span the wavelength range from 3.6 to 500 mu m. There are 35,322 unique sources in the LMC and 7503 in the SMC. To be bright in the FIR, a source must be very dusty, and so the sources in the HERITAGE catalogs represent the dustiest populations of sources. The brightest HERITAGE sources are dominated by young stellar objects (YSOs), and the dimmest by background galaxies. We identify the sources most likely to be background galaxies by first considering their morphology (distant galaxies are point-like at the resolution of Herschel) and then comparing the flux distribution to that of the Herschel Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey (ATLAS) survey of galaxies. We find a total of 9745 background galaxy candidates in the LMC HERITAGE images and 5111 in the SMC images, in agreement with the number predicted by extrapolating from the ATLAS flux distribution. The majority of the Magellanic Cloud-residing sources are either very young, embedded forming stars or dusty clumps of the interstellar medium. Using the presence of 24 mu m emission as a tracer of star formation, we identify 3518 YSO candidates in the LMC and 663 in the SMC. There are far fewer far-IR bright YSOs in the SMC than the LMC due to both the SMC's smaller size and its lower dust content. The YSO candidate lists may be contaminated at low flux levels by background galaxies, and so we differentiate between sources with a high ("probable") and moderate ("possible") likelihood of being a YSO. There are 2493/425 probable YSO candidates in the LMC/SMC. Approximately 73% of the Herschel YSO candidates are newly identified in the LMC, and 35% in the SMC. We further identify a small population of dusty objects in the late stages of stellar evolution including extreme and post-asymptotic giant branch, planetary nebulae, and supernova remnants. These populations are identified by matching the HERITAGE catalogs to lists of previously identified objects in the literature. Approximately half of the LMC sources and one quarter of the SMC sources are too faint to obtain accurate ample FIR photometry and are unclassified.
    The Astronomical Journal 12/2014; 148(6). DOI:10.1088/0004-6256/148/6/124 · 4.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The spatial variations of the gas-to-dust ratio (GDR) provide constraints on the chemical evolution and lifecycle of dust in galaxies. We examine the relation between dust and gas at 10-50 pc resolution in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC and SMC) based on Herschel far-infrared (FIR), H I 21 cm, CO, and Halpha observations. In the diffuse atomic ISM, we derive the gas-to-dust ratio as the slope of the dust-gas relation and find gas-to-dust ratios of 380+250-130 in the LMC, and 1200+1600-420 in the SMC, not including helium. The atomic-to-molecular transition is located at dust surface densities of 0.05 Mo pc-2 in the LMC and 0.03 Mo pc-2 in the SMC, corresponding to AV ~ 0.4 and 0.2, respectively. We investigate the range of CO-to-H2 conversion factor to best account for all the molecular gas in the beam of the observations, and find upper limits on XCO to be 6x1020 cm-2 K-1 km-1 s in the LMC (Z=0.5Zo) at 15 pc resolution, and 4x 1021 cm-2 K-1 km-1 s in the SMC (Z=0.2Zo) at 45 pc resolution. In the LMC, the slope of the dust-gas relation in the dense ISM is lower than in the diffuse ISM by a factor ~2, even after accounting for the effects of CO-dark H2 in the translucent envelopes of molecular clouds. Coagulation of dust grains and the subsequent dust emissivity increase in molecular clouds, and/or accretion of gas-phase metals onto dust grains, and the subsequent dust abundance (dust-to-gas ratio) increase in molecular clouds could explain the observations. In the SMC, variations in the dust-gas slope caused by coagulation or accretion are degenerate with the effects of CO-dark H2. Within the expected 5--20 times Galactic XCO range, the dust-gas slope can be either constant or decrease by a factor of several across ISM phases. Further modeling and observations are required to break the degeneracy between dust grain coagulation, accretion, and CO-dark H2.
    The Astrophysical Journal 11/2014; 797(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/797/2/86 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the analysis of supernova remnants (SNRs) in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and their influence on the environment at far-infrared (FIR) and submillimeter wavelengths. We use new observations obtained with the {\it Herschel} Space Observatory and archival data obtained with the {\it Spitzer} Space Telescope, to make the first FIR atlas of these objects. The SNRs are not clearly discernible at FIR wavelengths, however their influence becomes apparent in maps of dust mass and dust temperature, which we constructed by fitting a modified black-body to the observed spectral energy distribution in each sightline. Most of the dust that is seen is pre-existing interstellar dust in which SNRs leave imprints. The temperature maps clearly reveal SNRs heating surrounding dust, while the mass maps indicate the removal of 3.7$^{+7.5}_{-2.5}$ M$_{\odot}$ of dust per SNR. This agrees with the calculations by others that significant amounts of dust are sputtered by SNRs. Under the assumption that dust is sputtered and not merely pushed away, we estimate a dust destruction rate in the LMC of $0.037^{+0.075}_{-0.025}$ M$_\odot$ yr$^{-1}$ due to SNRs, yielding an average lifetime for interstellar dust of $2^{+4.0}_{-1.3}\times10^7$ yr. We conclude that sputtering of dust by SNRs may be an important ingredient in models of galactic evolution, that supernovae may destroy more dust than they produce, and that they therefore may not be net producers of long lived dust in galaxies.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2014; 799(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/799/1/50 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The dust properties in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are studied using the HERITAGE Herschel Key Project photometric data in five bands from 100 to 500 micron. Three simple models of dust emission were fit to the observations: a single temperature blackbody modified by a power- law emissivity (SMBB), a single temperature blackbody modified by a broken power-law emissivity (BEMBB), and two blackbodies with different temperatures, both modified by the same power-law emissivity (TTMBB). Using these models we investigate the origin of the submm excess; defined as the submillimeter (submm) emission above that expected from SMBB models fit to observations < 200 micron. We find that the BEMBB model produces the lowest fit residuals with pixel-averaged 500 micron submm excesses of 27% and 43% for the LMC and SMC, respectively. Adopting gas masses from previous works, the gas-to-dust ratios calculated from our the fitting results shows that the TTMBB fits require significantly more dust than are available even if all the metals present in the interstellar medium (ISM) were condensed into dust. This indicates that the submm excess is more likely to be due to emissivity variations than a second population of colder dust. We derive integrated dust masses of (7.3 +/- 1.7) x 10^5 and (8.3 +/- 2.1) times 10^4 M(sun) for the LMC and SMC, respectively. We find significant correlations between the submm excess and other dust properties; further work is needed to determine the relative contributions of fitting noise and ISM physics to the correlations.
    The Astrophysical Journal 06/2014; 797(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/797/2/85 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Spitzer Space Telescope Legacy Program SAGE-SMC allows global studies of resolved stellar populations in the SMC in a different environment than our Galaxy. Using the SAGE-SMC IRAC (3.6-8.0 μm) and MIPS (24 and 70 μm) catalogs and images combined with near-infrared (JHK s ) and optical (UBVI) data, we identified a population of ~1000 intermediate- to high-mass young stellar objects (YSOs) in the SMC (three times more than previously known). Our method of identifying YSO candidates builds on the method developed for the Large Magellanic Cloud by Whitney et al. with improvements based on what we learned from our subsequent studies and techniques described in the literature. We perform (1) color-magnitude cuts based on five color-magnitude diagrams (CMDs), (2) visual inspection of multi-wavelength images, and (3) spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting with YSO models. For each YSO candidate, we use its photometry to calculate a measure of our confidence that the source is not a non-YSO contaminant, but rather a true YSO, based on the source's location in the color-magnitude space with respect to non-YSOs. We use this CMD score and the SED fitting results to define two classes of sources: high-reliability YSO candidates and possible YSO candidates. We found that, due to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emission, about half of our sources have [3.6]-[4.5] and [4.5]-[5.8] colors not predicted by previous YSO models. The YSO candidates are spatially correlated with gas tracers.
    The Astrophysical Journal 11/2013; 778(1):15-. DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/778/1/15 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present an overview of the HERschel Inventory of The Agents of Galaxy Evolution (HERITAGE) in the Magellanic Clouds project, which is a Herschel Space Observatory open time key program. We mapped the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) at 100, 160, 250, 350, and 500 μm with the Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE) and Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS) instruments on board Herschel using the SPIRE/PACS parallel mode. The overriding science goal of HERITAGE is to study the life cycle of matter as traced by dust in the LMC and SMC. The far-infrared and submillimeter emission is an effective tracer of the interstellar medium (ISM) dust, the most deeply embedded young stellar objects (YSOs), and the dust ejected by the most massive stars. We describe in detail the data processing, particularly for the PACS data, which required some custom steps because of the large angular extent of a single observational unit and overall the large amount of data to be processed as an ensemble. We report total global fluxes for the LMC and SMC and demonstrate their agreement with measurements by prior missions. The HERITAGE maps of the LMC and SMC are dominated by the ISM dust emission and bear most resemblance to the tracers of ISM gas rather than the stellar content of the galaxies. We describe the point source extraction processing and the criteria used to establish a catalog for each waveband for the HERITAGE program. The 250 μm band is the most sensitive and the source catalogs for this band have ~25,000 objects for the LMC and ~5500 objects for the SMC. These data enable studies of ISM dust properties, submillimeter excess dust emission, dust-to-gas ratio, Class 0 YSO candidates, dusty massive evolved stars, supernova remnants (including SN1987A), H II regions, and dust evolution in the LMC and SMC. All images and catalogs are delivered to the Herschel Science Center as part of the community support aspects of the project. These HERITAGE images and catalogs provide an excellent basis for future research and follow up with other facilities.
    The Astronomical Journal 08/2013; 146(3):62. DOI:10.1088/0004-6256/146/3/62 · 4.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a study of the infrared/submm emission of the LMC star forming complex N158-N159-N160. Combining observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope (3.6-70um), the Herschel Space Observatory (100-500um) and LABOCA (870um) allows us to work at the best angular resolution available now for an extragalactic source. We observe a remarkably good correlation between SPIRE and LABOCA emission and resolve the low surface brightnesses emission. We use the Spitzer and Herschel data to perform a resolved Spectral Energy Distribution (SED) modelling of the complex. Using MBB, we derive a global emissivity index beta_c of 1.47. If beta cold is fixed to 1.5, we find an average temperature of 27K. We also apply the Galliano et al. (2011) modelling technique (and amorphous carbon to model carbon dust) to derive maps of the star formation rate, the mean starlight intensity, the fraction of PAHs or the dust mass surface density of the region. We observe that the PAH fraction strongly decreases in the HII regions. This decrease coincides with peaks in the mean radiation field intensity map. The dust surface densities follow the FIR distribution, with a total dust mass of 2.1x10^4 Msolar (2.8 times less than when using graphite grains) in the resolved elements we model. We find a non-negligible amount of dust in the molecular cloud N159 South (showing no massive SF). We also investigate the drivers of the Herschel/PACS and SPIRE submm colours as well as the variations in the gas-to-dust mass ratio (G/D) and the XCO conversion factor in the region N159. We finally model individual regions to analyse variations in the SED shape across the complex and the 870um emission in more details. No measurable submm excess emission at 870um seems to be detected in these regions.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 02/2013; 431(2). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stt280 · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vega and Fomalhaut, are similar in terms of mass, ages, and global debris disk properties; therefore, they are often referred as "debris disk twins". We present Spitzer 10-35 um spectroscopic data centered at both stars, and identify warm, unresolved excess emission in the close vicinity of Vega for the first time. The properties of the warm excess in Vega are further characterized with ancillary photometry in the mid infrared and resolved images in the far-infrared and submillimeter wavelengths. The Vega warm excess shares many similar properties with the one found around Fomalhaut. The emission shortward of ~30 um from both warm components is well described as a blackbody emission of ~170 K. Interestingly, two other systems, eps Eri and HR 8799, also show such an unresolved warm dust using the same approach. These warm components may be analogous to the solar system's zodiacal dust cloud, but of far greater. The dust temperature and tentative detections in the submillimeter suggest the warm excess arises from dust associated with a planetesimal ring located near the water-frost line and presumably created by processes occurring at similar locations in other debris systems as well. We also review the properties of the 2 um hot excess around Vega and Fomalhaut, showing that the dust responsible for the hot excess is not spatially associated with the dust we detected in the warm belt. We suggest it may arise from hot nano grains trapped in the magnetic field of the star. Finally, the separation between the warm and cold belt is rather large with an orbital ratio >~10 in all four systems. In light of the current upper limits on the masses of planetary objects and the large gap, we discuss the possible implications for their underlying planetary architecture, and suggest that multiple, low-mass planets likely reside between the two belts in Vega and Fomalhaut.
    The Astrophysical Journal 01/2013; 763(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/763/2/118 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present initial results and source lists of variable sources in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) for which we detect thermal infrared variability from the SAGE (Surveying the Agents of a Galaxy’s Evolution) survey, which had 2 epochs of photometry separated by three months. The SAGE survey mapped a 7 ◦ × 7 ◦ region of the LMC using the IRAC and the MIPS instruments on board Spitzer. Variable sources are identified using a combination of the IRAC 3.6, 4.5, 5.8, 8.0 µm bands and the MIPS 24 µm bands. An error-weighted flux difference between the two epochs is used to assess the variability. Of the ∼ 3 million sources detected at both epochs we find ∼ 2, 000 variable sources for which we provide electronic catalogs. Most of the variable sources can be classified as asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars. A large fraction (> 66%) of the extreme AGB stars are variable and only smaller fractions of carbon-rich (6.1%) and oxygen-rich (2.0%) stars are detected as variable. We also detect a population of variable young stellar object candidates.
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    ABSTRACT: The Tail region of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) was imaged using the MIPS instrument on the Spitzer Space Telescope as part of the SAGE-SMC Spitzer Legacy. Diffuse infrared emission from dust was detected in all the MIPS bands. The Tail gas-to-dust ratio was measured to be 1200 ±350 using the MIPS observations combined with existing IRAS and HI observations. This gasto-dust ratio is higher than the expected 500–800 from the known Tail metallicity indicating possible destruction of dust grains. Two cluster regions in the Tail were resolved into multiple sources in the MIPS observations and local gas-to-dust ratios were measured to be ∼440 and ∼250 suggests dust formation and/or significant amounts of ionized gas in these regions. These results support the interpretation that the SMC Tail is a tidal tail recently stripped from the SMC that includes gas, dust, and young stars. Subject headings: galaxies: individual (SMC) — galaxies: ISM — dust, extinction
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    ABSTRACT: We study the emission by dust and stars in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, a pair of low-metallicity nearby galaxies, as traced by their spatially resolved spectral energy distributions (SEDs). This project combines Herschel Space Observatory PACS and SPIRE far-infrared photometry with other data at infrared and optical wavelengths. We build maps of dust and stellar luminosity and mass of both Magellanic Clouds, and analyze the spatial distribution of dust/stellar luminosity and mass ratios. These ratios vary considerably throughout the galaxies, generally between the range $0.01\leq L_{\rm dust}/L_\ast\leq 0.6$ and $10^{-4}\leq M_{\rm dust}/M_\ast\leq 4\times10^{-3}$. We observe that the dust/stellar ratios depend on the interstellar medium (ISM) environment, such as the distance from currently or previously star-forming regions, and on the intensity of the interstellar radiation field (ISRF). In addition, we construct star formation rate (SFR) maps, and find that the SFR is correlated with the dust/stellar luminosity and dust temperature in both galaxies, demonstrating the relation between star formation, dust emission and heating, though these correlations exhibit substantial scatter.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2012; 761(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/761/1/42 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    J. R. Franck · A. W. Shafter · K. Hornoch · K. A. Misselt
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    ABSTRACT: A multi-epoch H-alpha survey of the late-type spiral galaxy NGC 2403 has been completed in order to determine its nova rate. A total of 9 nova candidates were discovered in 48 nights of observation with two different telescopes over the period from February 2001 to April 2012. After making corrections for temporal coverage and spatial completeness, a nova rate of 2.0 (+0.5,-0.3) per year was determined. This rate corresponds to a luminosity-specific nova rate of 2.5+/-0.7 novae per year per 10^{10} solar luminosities in K. This value is consistent with that of the similar Hubble type galaxy, M33, and is typical of those of other galaxies with measured nova rates, which range from 1-3 novae per year per 10^{10} solar luminosities in K.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2012; 760(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/760/1/13 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. JWST will be an infrared-optimized telescope, with an approximately 6.5 m diameter primary mirror, that is located at the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point. Three of JWST’s four science instruments use Teledyne HgCdTe HAWAII-2RG (H2RG) near infrared detector arrays. During 2010, the JWST Project noticed that a few of its 5 μm cutoff H2RG detectors were degrading during room temperature storage, and NASA chartered a “Detector Degradation Failure Review Board” (DD-FRB) to investigate. The DD-FRB determined that the root cause was a design flaw that allowed indium to interdiffuse with the gold contacts and migrate into the HgCdTe detector layer. Fortunately, Teledyne already had an improved design that eliminated this degradation mechanism. During early 2012, the improved H2RG design was qualified for flight and JWST began making additional H2RGs. In this article, we present the two public DD-FRB “Executive Summaries” that: (1) determined the root cause of the detector degradation and (2) defined tests to determine whether the existing detectors are qualified for flight. We supplement these with a brief introduction to H2RG detector arrays, some recent measurements showing that the performance of the improved design meets JWST requirements, and a discussion of how the JWST Project is using cryogenic storage to retard the degradation rate of the existing flight spare H2RGs.
    AIP Advances 06/2012; 2(2-2):021901. DOI:10.1063/1.4733534 · 1.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Observations of both nearby and distant galaxies, including our own Milky Way, have shown that wide variations in the UV interstellar extinction properties within and among galaxies are the norm, indicating wide ranges in the properties of galactic dust grain populations. UV extinction curves show a variety of forms, including strong and weak 2175 Å bumps, steep and flat mid-UV extinction, and strong and weak far-UV curvature. The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) is known to have UV extinction - and, therefore, dust grain populations - spanning nearly the full range of observed properties. This, coupled with its nearby location, makes the SMC an ideal subject for a study of the correlation between UV extinction and other properties of individual sightlines (e.g., gas-to-dust ratio, presence of molecular material, star formation activity, etc.). Such a study will lead to an increased understanding of the influence of environmental factors on the dust grain populations and a better characterization of the distinct processes which modify the grains. In this poster, we present initial results from an analysis of STIS spectra obtained in a Cycle 18 observing program (Program ID 12258; K. Gordon, PI) for 15 previously unobserved SMC stars, combined with STIS spectra for 6 other stars obtained in earlier cycles. The derivation of the extinctions curves and their uncertainties is discussed and the curve morphology examined, along with preliminary environmental correlations. Interesting early results of the analysis are (1) that none of the new extinction curves - which probe a variety of sites in the SMC - show a prominent 2175 Å bump and (2) the detection of a new morphological class of extinction curves, which feature flat UV extinction with nearly non-existent bumps and far-UV curvature.
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    The Astronomical Journal 05/2012; 143(5):127. DOI:10.1088/0004-6256/143/5/127 · 4.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: In this paper, we perform detailed modelling of the Spitzer and Herschel observations of the LMC, in order to: (i) systematically study the uncertainties and biases affecting dust mass estimates; and to (ii) explore the peculiar ISM properties of the LMC. Methods: To achieve these goals, we have modelled the spatially resolved SEDs with two alternate grain compositions, to study the impact of different submillimetre opacities on the dust mass. We have rigorously propagated the observational errors (noise and calibration) through the entire fitting process, in order to derive consistent parameter uncertainties. Results: First, we show that using the integrated SED leads to underestimating the dust mass by ~50 % compared to the value obtained with sufficient spatial resolution, for the region we studied. This might be the case, in general, for unresolved galaxies. Second, we show that Milky Way type grains produce higher gas-to-dust mass ratios than what seems possible according to the element abundances in the LMC. A spatial analysis shows that this dilemma is the result of an exceptional property: the grains of the LMC have on average a larger intrinsic submm opacity (emissivity index beta~1.7 and opacity kappa_abs(160 microns)=1.6 m2/kg) than those of the Galaxy. By studying the spatial distribution of the gas-to-dust mass ratio, we are able to constrain the fraction of unseen gas mass between ~10, and ~100 % and show that it is not sufficient to explain the gas-to-dust mass ratio obtained with Milky Way type grains. Finally, we confirm the detection of a 500 microns extended emission excess with an average relative amplitude of ~15 %, varying up to 40 %. This excess anticorrelates well with the dust mass surface density. Although we do not know the origin of this excess, we show that it is unlikely the result of very cold dust, or CMB fluctuations.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 10/2011; 536. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201117952 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    Ka-Hei Law · Karl D. Gordon · K. A. Misselt
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    ABSTRACT: In star-forming galaxies, dust plays a significant role in shaping the ultraviolet (UV) through infrared (IR) spectrum. Dust attenuates the radiation from stars, and re-radiates the energy through equilibrium and non-equilibrium emission. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), graphite, and silicates contribute to different features in the spectral energy distribution; however, they are all highly opaque in the same spectral region---the UV. Compared to old stellar populations, young populations release a higher fraction of their total luminosity in the UV, making them a good source of the energetic UV photons that can power dust emission. However, given their relative abundance, the question of whether young or old stellar populations provide most of these photons that power the IR emission is an interesting question. Using three samples of galaxies observed with the Spitzer Space Telescope and our dusty radiative transfer model, we find that young stellar populations (on the order of 100 million years old) dominate the dust heating in star-forming galaxies, and old stellar populations (13 billion years old) generally contribute less than 20% of the far-IR luminosity.
    The Astrophysical Journal 09/2011; 738(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/738/2/124 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) provides a unique laboratory for the study of the lifecycle of dust given its low metallicity (~1/5 solar) and relative proximity (~60 kpc). This motivated the SAGE-SMC (Surveying the Agents of Galaxy Evolution in the Tidally-Stripped, Low Metallicity Small Magellanic Cloud) Spitzer Legacy program with the specific goals of studying the amount and type of dust in the present interstellar medium, the sources of dust in the winds of evolved stars, and how much dust is consumed in star formation. This program mapped the full SMC (30 sq. deg.) including the Body, Wing, and Tail in 7 bands from 3.6 to 160 micron using the IRAC and MIPS instruments on the Spitzer Space Telescope. The data were reduced, mosaicked, and the point sources measured using customized routines specific for large surveys. We have made the resulting mosaics and point source catalogs available to the community. The infrared colors of the SMC are compared to those of other nearby galaxies and the 8 micron/24 micron ratio is somewhat lower and the 70 micron/160 micron ratio is somewhat higher than the average. The global infrared spectral energy distribution shows that the SMC has ~3X lower aromatic emission/PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) abundances compared to most nearby galaxies. Infrared color-magnitude diagrams are given illustrating the distribution of different asymptotic giant branch stars and the locations of young stellar objects. Finally, the average spectral energy distribution (SED) of HII/star formation regions is compared to the equivalent Large Magellanic Cloud average HII/star formation region SED. These preliminary results are expanded in detail in companion papers.
    The Astronomical Journal 07/2011; 142(4). DOI:10.1088/0004-6256/142/4/102 · 4.05 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

6k Citations
905.02 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003–2014
    • The University of Arizona
      • Department of Astronomy
      Tucson, Arizona, United States
  • 2011
    • Australian Defence Force Academy
      Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    • University of Wisconsin, Madison
      • Department of Astronomy
      Mississippi, United States
  • 2008
    • Liverpool John Moores University
      • Astrophysics Research Institute
      Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
  • 2006
    • University of Missouri
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Columbia, Missouri, United States
  • 2004
    • Space Telescope Science Institute
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1997–2001
    • Louisiana State University
      • Department of Physics & Astronomy
      Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
  • 1995–1996
    • San Diego State University
      San Diego, California, United States