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Modeling IR spectral energy distributions: a pilot study of starburst parameters and silicate absorption curves for some GOALS galaxies

Dopita, Michael A. and Armus, Lee and Kewley, Lisa J. and Rich, Jeff A. and Sanders, Dave and Appleton, Philip N. and Chan, Ben H. P. and Charmandaris, Vassilis and Evans, Aaron S. and Frayer, David T. and Howell, Justin H. and Inami, Hanae and Mazzarella, Joseph M. and Petric, Andreea and Stierwalt, Sabrina and Surace, Jason (2011) Modeling IR spectral energy distributions: a pilot study of starburst parameters and silicate absorption curves for some GOALS galaxies. Astrophysics and Space Science , 333 (1). pp. 225-239. ISSN 0004-640X.

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This paper describes a pilot study into the spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting and the derivation of physical parameters for 19 galaxies observed as part of the Great Observatories All-sky LIRG Survey (GOALS) survey as observed with the Spitzer Space Telescope. For this we have used the pan-spectral fitting tools developed in a series of papers by Dopita and his co-workers. We show that the standard Lee and Draine ‘astronomical silicate’ model cannot provide a good fit to the silicate absorption features as observed in the heavily dust-extinguished (A_V ~ 50 mag.) starbursts. We have derived an empirical fit to the ‘starburst silicate’ absorption in these objects. This absorption curve is consistent with the silicate grains being systematically larger in starburst environments than in the local Galactic interstellar medium. We demonstrate the sensitivity of the SED fitting to each of the fitted parameters, and derive these parameters for those galaxies which do not have an embedded AGN. This technique is simple and provides reasonably robust and uniform parameters for the starburst, especially as far as the star formation rate, population of old stars, compactness of the starburst region and total foreground extinction are concerned. However, the chemical abundances and the optical extinction cannot be reliably determined by this analysis, and optical SEDs will also be required to provide a complete characterization of the starburst region and of the surrounding galaxy.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Armus, Lee0000-0003-3498-2973
Sanders, Dave0000-0002-1233-9998
Appleton, Philip N.0000-0002-7607-8766
Frayer, David T.0000-0003-1924-1122
Mazzarella, Joseph M.0000-0002-8204-8619
Surace, Jason0000-0001-7291-0087
Additional Information:© 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Received: 13 August 2010; Accepted: 9 December 2010; Published online: 23 December 2010. Dopita acknowledges the continued support of the Australian Research Council (ARC) through Discovery projects DP0984657 and DP0664434. Dopita and Armus thank the Aspen Center for Physics for providing the stimulus for this collaborative research. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We thank the anonymous referee for the great care and knowledge demonstrated in the referee reports, which has greatly improved our resultant paper.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Australian Research CouncilDP0984657
Australian Research CouncilDP0664434
Subject Keywords:ISM: dust silicates-extinction; H II galaxies: general; Star formation rates; Spectral energy distributions; Starburst-infrared: galaxies
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110415-155627256
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:23349
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:20 Apr 2011 17:08
Last Modified:12 Jul 2019 22:43

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