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Ultraviolet through Infrared Spectral Energy Distributions from 1000 SDSS Galaxies: Dust Attenuation

Johnson, Benjamin D. and Schiminovich, David and Seibert, Mark and Treyer, Marie and Martin, D. Christopher and Barlow, Tom A. and Forster, Karl and Friedman, Peter G. and Morrissey, Patrick and Neff, Susan G. and Small, Todd and Wyder, Ted K. and Bianchi, Luciana and Donas, Jose and Heckman, Timothy M. and Lee, Young-Wook and Madore, Barry F. and Milliard, Bruno and Rich, R. Michael and Szalay, Alex S. and Welsh, Barry Y. and Yi, Sukyoung K. (2007) Ultraviolet through Infrared Spectral Energy Distributions from 1000 SDSS Galaxies: Dust Attenuation. Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 173 (2). pp. 392-403. ISSN 0067-0049. doi:10.1086/522960.

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The meaningful comparison of models of galaxy evolution to observations is critically dependent on the accurate treatment of dust attenuation. To investigate dust absorption and emission in galaxies we have assembled a sample of ~1000 galaxies with UV through IR photometry from GALEX, SDSS, and Spitzer, and optical spectroscopy from SDSS. The ratio of IR to UV emission (IRX) is used to constrain the dust attenuation in galaxies. We use the 4000 Å break as a robust and useful, although coarse, indicator of star formation history (SFH). We examine the relationship between IRX and the UV spectral slope (a common attenuation indicator at high redshift) and find little dependence of the scatter on D_n(4000). We construct average UV through far-IR spectral energy distributions (SEDs) for different ranges of IRX, D_n(4000), and stellar mass (M_*) to show the variation of the entire SED with these parameters. When binned simultaneously by IRX, D_n(4000), and M_* these SEDs allow us to determine a low-resolution average attenuation curve for different ranges of M_*. The attenuation curves thus derived are consistent with a λ^(−0.7) attenuation law, and we find no significant variations with M_*. Finally, we show the relationship between IRX and the global stellar mass surface density and gas-phase metallicity. Among star-forming galaxies we find a strong correlation between IRX and stellar mass surface density, even at constant metallicity, a result that is closely linked to the well-known correlation between IRX and star formation rate.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Seibert, Mark0000-0002-1143-5515
Martin, D. Christopher0000-0002-8650-1644
Forster, Karl0000-0001-5800-5531
Morrissey, Patrick0000-0001-8177-1023
Madore, Barry F.0000-0002-1576-1676
Rich, R. Michael0000-0003-0427-8387
Additional Information:© 2007 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2007 August 2; accepted 2007 September 3. B. D. J. would like to thank A. Basu-Zych, S. Salim, A. Boselli, S. Boissier, and L. Cortese for comments that improved the paper. B. D. J. was supported by NASA GSRP grant NNG-05GO43H. GALEX (Galaxy Evolution Explorer) is a NASA Small Explorer, launched in 2003 April. We gratefully acknowledge NASA’s support for construction, operation, and science analysis for the GALEX mission, developed in cooperation with the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales of France and the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology. This work is based in part on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. In particular, the publicly available Spitzer data obtained by the SWIRE team have been essential to this work. Funding for the SDSS and SDSS-II has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, the Max Planck Society, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The SDSS Web site is The SDSS is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions. The Participating Institutions are the American Museum of Natural History, Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, University of Basel, University of Cambridge, Case Western Reserve University, University of Chicago, Drexel University, Fermilab, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Japan Participation Group, Johns Hopkins University, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics, the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, the Korean Scientist Group, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (LAMOST), Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), New Mexico State University, Ohio State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the United States Naval Observatory, and the University of Washington.
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory, Space Astrophysics Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Graduate Student Research FellowshipNNG-05GO43H
Subject Keywords:dust, extinction; galaxies : evolution; galaxies : fundamental parameters; infrared : galaxies; ultraviolet : galaxies
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100212-135026966
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Official Citation:Ultraviolet through Infrared Spectral Energy Distributions from 1000 SDSS Galaxies: Dust Attenuation Benjamin D. Johnson, David Schiminovich, Mark Seibert, Marie Treyer, D. Christopher Martin, Tom A. Barlow, Karl Forster, Peter G. Friedman, Patrick Morrissey, Susan G. Neff, Todd Small, Ted K. Wyder, Luciana Bianchi, Jose Donas, Timothy M. Heckman, Young-Wook Lee, Barry F. Madore, Bruno Milliard, R. Michael Rich, Alex S. Szalay, Barry Y. Welsh, and Sukyoung K. Yi 2007 ApJS 173 392-403 doi: 10.1086/522960
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:17472
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Feb 2010 19:40
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 23:36

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