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The Physical Drivers of the Luminosity-weighted Dust Temperatures in High-redshift Galaxies

Burnham, Anne D. and Casey, Caitlin M. and Zavala, Jorge A. and Manning, Sinclaire M. and Spilker, Justin S. and Chapman, Scott C. and Chen, Chian-Chou and Cooray, Asantha and Sanders, David B. and Scoville, Nick Z. (2021) The Physical Drivers of the Luminosity-weighted Dust Temperatures in High-redshift Galaxies. Astrophysical Journal, 910 (2). Art. No. 89. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/abe401.

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The underlying distribution of galaxies' dust spectral energy distributions (SEDs) (i.e., their spectra reradiated by dust from rest-frame ~3 μm to 3 mm) remains relatively unconstrained owing to a dearth of far-IR/(sub)millimeter data for large samples of galaxies. It has been claimed in the literature that a galaxy's dust temperature—observed as the wavelength where the dust SED peaks (λ_(peak))—is traced most closely by its specific star formation rate (sSFR) or parameterized "distance" to the SFR–M★ relation (the galaxy "main sequence"). We present 0.”24 resolved 870 μm ALMA dust continuum observations of seven z = 1.4–4.6 dusty star-forming galaxies chosen to have a large range of well-constrained luminosity-weighted dust temperatures. We also draw on similar-resolution dust continuum maps from a sample of ALESS submillimeter galaxies from Hodge et al (2016). We constrain the physical scales over which the dust radiates and compare those measurements to characteristics of the integrated SED. We confirm significant correlations of λ_(peak) with both L_(IR) (or SFR) and Σ_(IR) (∝SFR surface density). We investigate the correlation between log₁₀(λ_(peak)) and log₁₀(Σ_(IR)) and find the relation to hold as would be expected from the Stefan–Boltzmann law, or the effective size of an equivalent blackbody. The correlations of λ_(peak) with sSFR and distance from the SFR–M★ relation are less significant than those for Σ_(IR) or L_(IR); therefore, we conclude that the more fundamental tracer of galaxies' luminosity-weighted integrated dust temperatures are indeed their star formation surface densities in line with local universe results, which relate closely to the underlying geometry of dust in the interstellar medium.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Burnham, Anne D.0000-0003-0274-2537
Casey, Caitlin M.0000-0002-0930-6466
Zavala, Jorge A.0000-0002-7051-1100
Manning, Sinclaire M.0000-0003-0415-0121
Spilker, Justin S.0000-0003-3256-5615
Chapman, Scott C.0000-0002-8487-3153
Chen, Chian-Chou0000-0002-3805-0789
Cooray, Asantha0000-0002-3892-0190
Sanders, David B.0000-0002-1233-9998
Scoville, Nick Z.0000-0002-0438-3323
Additional Information:© 2021. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2020 May 12; revised 2021 January 25; accepted 2021 February 4; published 2021 March 30. We thank the anonymous reviewer for their input. A.D.B. thanks the John W. Cox Endowment for the Advanced Studies in Astronomy for support. C.M.C. thanks the National Science Foundation for support through grants AST-1714528, AST-1814034, and AST-2009577, and additionally C.M.C., J.A.Z., and J.S.S. thank the University of Texas at Austin College of Natural Sciences for support. In addition, C.M.C. acknowledges support from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement from a 2019 Cottrell Scholar Award sponsored by IF/THEN, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies. S.M.M. thanks the National Science Foundation for support through the Graduate Research Fellowship under grant No. DGE-1610403. C.-C.C. acknowledges support from the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan (MOST 109-2112-M-001-016-MY3). This paper makes use of the following ALMA data: ADS/JAO.ALMA #2015.1.00568.S. ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its member states), NSF (USA), and NINS (Japan), together with NRC (Canada), MOST and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO, and NAOJ. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
John W. Cox EndowmentUNSPECIFIED
University of Texas at AustinUNSPECIFIED
Cottrell Scholar of Research CorporationUNSPECIFIED
Ministry of Science and Technology (Taipei)109-2112-M-001-016-MY3
Subject Keywords:Galaxy evolution; Dust continuum emission; Starburst galaxies; High-redshift galaxies; Submillimeter astronomy
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Galaxy evolution (594); Dust continuum emission (412); Starburst galaxies (1570); High-redshift galaxies (734); Submillimeter astronomy (1647)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210330-095258427
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Anne D. Burnham et al 2021 ApJ 910 89
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108580
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Mar 2021 22:25
Last Modified:30 Mar 2021 22:25

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