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WISE Extended Source Catalog (WXSC). I. The 100 Largest Galaxies

Jarrett, T. H. and Cluver, M. E. and Brown, M. J. I. and Dale, D. A. and Tsai, C. W. and Masci, F. (2019) WISE Extended Source Catalog (WXSC). I. The 100 Largest Galaxies. Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 245 (2). Art. No. 25. ISSN 1538-4365. doi:10.3847/1538-4365/ab521a.

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We present mid-infrared photometry and measured global properties of the 100 largest galaxies in the sky, including the well-studied Magellanic Clouds, Local Group galaxies M31 and M33, the Fornax and Virgo galaxy cluster giants, and many of the most spectacular Messier objects (e.g., M51 and M83). This is the first release of a larger catalog of extended sources as imaged in the mid-infrared, called the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) Extended Source Catalog (WXSC). In this study, we measure their global attributes, including integrated flux, surface brightness, and radial distribution. The largest of the large are the LMC, SMC, and Andromeda galaxy, which are also the brightest mid-infrared galaxies in the sky. We interrogate the large galaxies using WISE colors, which serve as proxies for four general types of galaxies: bulge-dominated spheroidals, intermediate semi-quiescent disks, star-forming (SF) spirals, and AGN-dominated. The colors reveal a tight "sequence" that spans 5 mag in W2–W3 color, ranging from early to late types and low to high SF activity; we fit the functional form given by (W1-W2) = [0.015 x e(W2-W3)/1.38] – 0.08. Departures from this sequence may reveal nuclear, starburst, and merging events. Physical properties and luminosity attributes are computed, notably the diameter, aggregate stellar mass, and dust-obscured star formation activity. To effectively study and compare these galaxy characteristics, we introduce the "pinwheel" diagram, which depicts physical properties with respect to the median value observed for WISE galaxies in the local universe. Utilized with the WXSC, this diagram will delineate between different kinds of galaxies, identifying those with similar star formation and structural properties. Finally, we present the mid-infrared photometry of the 25 brightest globular clusters in the sky, of which many are also the largest and brightest objects orbiting the Milky Way, including Omega Centauri, 47 Tucanae, and a number of famed night-sky targets (e.g., M13).

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Jarrett, T. H.0000-0002-4939-734X
Cluver, M. E.0000-0002-9871-6490
Brown, M. J. I.0000-0002-1207-9137
Dale, D. A.0000-0002-5782-9093
Tsai, C. W.0000-0002-9390-9672
Masci, F.0000-0002-8532-9395
Additional Information:© 2019 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2019 August 31; revised 2019 October 17; accepted 2019 October 23; published 2019 December 6. T.H.J. thanks Barry Madore (and the NED team, notably Joe Mazzarella) for the many wonderful and inspiring discussions of nearby galaxies over the years. He would also like to thank the incredible WISE team for a job well done, notably Ned Wright, Peter Eisenhardt, and Roc Cutri for creating and shepherding WISE from idea to brilliant reality. We thank the anonymous referee for helpful analysis suggestions. T.H.J. acknowledge support from the National Research Foundation (South Africa). M.C. is a recipient of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (project number FT170100273) funded by the Australian Government. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), both of which are operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and WISE is also a joint project with the University of California, Los Angeles.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Research Foundation (South Africa)UNSPECIFIED
Australian Research Council (ARC)FT170100273
Australian GovernmentUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Infrared galaxies; Catalogs; Sky surveys; Galaxy evolution; Galaxy processes
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Infrared galaxies (790); Catalogs (205); Sky surveys (1464); Galaxy evolution (594); Galaxy processes (614)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191209-082711802
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:T. H. Jarrett et al 2019 ApJS 245 25
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100231
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Dec 2019 17:58
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:52

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