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Radial Variation of Attenuation and Star Formation in the Largest Late-Type Disks Observed with GALEX

Boissier, Samuel and Gil de Paz, Armando and Boselli, Alessandro and Madore, Barry F. and Buat, Véronique and Cortese, Luca and Burgarella, Denis and Muńoz-Mateos, Juan Carlos and Barlow, Tom A. and Forster, Karl and Friedman, Peter G. and Martin, D. Christopher and Morrissey, Patrick and Neff, Susan G. and Schiminovich, David and Seibert, Mark and Small, Todd and Wyder, Ted K. and Bianchi, Luciana and Donas, José and Heckman, Timothy M. and Lee, Young-Wook and Milliard, Bruno and Rich, R. Michael and Szalay, Alex S. and Welsh, Barry Y. and Yi, Sukyoung K. (2007) Radial Variation of Attenuation and Star Formation in the Largest Late-Type Disks Observed with GALEX. Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 173 (2). pp. 524-537. ISSN 0067-0049. doi:10.1086/516642.

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For a sample of 43 nearby, late-type galaxies, we have investigated the radial variation of both the current star formation rate and the dust-induced UV light attenuation. To do this we have cross-correlated IRAS images and GALEX observations for each of these galaxies and compiled observations of the gas (CO and H I) and metal-abundance gradients found in the literature. We find that attenuation correlates with metallicity. We then use the UV profiles, corrected for attenuation, to study several variants of the Schmidt law and conclude that our results are compatible with a simple law similar to the one of Kennicutt extending smoothly to lower surface densities, but with considerable scatter. We do not detect an abrupt break in the UV light at the threshold radius derived from Hα data (at which the Hα profile shows a break and beyond which only a few H II regions are usually found). We interpret the Hα sudden break not as a change in the star formation regime (as often suggested), but as the vanishingly small number of ionizing stars corresponding to low levels of star formation.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Boissier, Samuel0000-0002-9091-2366
Gil de Paz, Armando0000-0001-6150-2854
Madore, Barry F.0000-0002-1576-1676
Cortese, Luca0000-0002-7422-9823
Forster, Karl0000-0001-5800-5531
Martin, D. Christopher0000-0002-8650-1644
Morrissey, Patrick0000-0001-8177-1023
Seibert, Mark0000-0002-1143-5515
Bianchi, Luciana0000-0001-7746-5461
Rich, R. Michael0000-0003-0427-8387
Additional Information:© 2007 American Astronomical Society. Received 2006 April 20; accepted 2006 July 28. 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’E´ tudes Spatiales of France and the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology. A. G. d. P. is partially financed by the Spanish Programa Nacional de Astronomı´a y Astrof ı´sica under grant AYA2003-01676. We also thank the MAGPOP network for its support, and the referee for very constructive comments. Facilities: GALEX
Group:Space Radiation Laboratory, Space Astrophysics Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Programa Nacional de Astronomía y AstrofísicaAYA2003-01676
Subject Keywords:dust, extinction; galaxies: spiral; infrared: galaxies; ultraviolet: galaxies
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100421-122451071
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Samuel Boissier et al 2007 ApJS 173 524 doi: 10.1086/516642
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:18044
Deposited On:22 Apr 2010 20:29
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 23:40

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