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Herschel observations of Cen A: stellar heating of two extragalactic dust clouds

Auld, R. and Smith, M. W. L. and Bendo, G. and Pohlen, M. and Wilson, C. and Gomez, H. and Cortese, L. and Morganti, R. and Baes, M. and Boselli, A. and Cooray, A. and Davies, J. I. and Eales, S. and Elbaz, D. and Galametz, M. and Isaak, K. and Oosterloo, T. and Page, M. and Rigby, E. and Spinoglio, L. and Struve, C. (2012) Herschel observations of Cen A: stellar heating of two extragalactic dust clouds. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 420 (3). pp. 1882-1896. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19819.x.

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We present the first results of a multiwavelength survey, incorporating Herschel-inline image, Spitzer, GALEX and Australian Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) observations, of a 1°× 1° field centred on Centaurus A. As well as detecting the inner lobes of the active galactic nucleus (AGN) jet and counterjet, we have found two clouds, bright at submillimetre wavelengths, ∼15 kpc from the centre of Cen A that are co-aligned with the jets. Flux measurements at Herschel wavelengths have proved vital in constraining fits to the spectral energy distributions (SEDs). The clouds are well fitted by a single-temperature, modified blackbody spectrum (β = 2) indicating that we are looking at two cold dust clouds on the outskirts of Cen A. The temperature and masses of the clouds are T_(north) = 12.6^(+1.1)_(-1.2) K, T_(south) = 15.1^(+1.7)_(-1.6) K; log (M_(north)/M_☉) = 5.8^(+0.2)_(-0.2), log(M_(south)/M_☉) = 5.6^(+0.2)_(-0.2) and the gas-dust ratio for both clouds is ∼100. The measured values for the northern dust cloud are consistent with previous measurements from ISO while the southern cloud is a new submillimetre detection. The two dust clouds are located at the termini of the partial H i ring that surrounds Cen A which is also where the gas column density peaks. The Herschel survey encompasses the partial H i ring yet we find no evidence of dust emission in any other part of the ring. Assuming that the gas–dust ratio is the same in the rest of the ring, dust mass upper limits in the H i ring are consistent with low column density dust being present but falling below the SPIRE detection limit. We have discussed the origin of these clouds and various possible heating mechanisms. The observations favour a scenario in which the gas and dust were once part of a late-type galaxy, which has since merged with Cen A. The dominant heating mechanism which adequately explains the observed temperatures in both clouds is heating from the evolved stellar population within Cen A.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Smith, M. W. L.0000-0002-3532-6970
Cortese, L.0000-0002-7422-9823
Cooray, A.0000-0002-3892-0190
Elbaz, D.0000-0002-7631-647X
Galametz, M.0000-0002-0283-8689
Page, M.0000-0002-6689-6271
Additional Information:© 2012 The Authors. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2012 RAS. Accepted 2011 September 11. Received 2011 August 24; in original form 2011 May 11. Article first published online: 23 Jan 2012. SPIRE has been developed by a consortium of institutes led by Cardiff University (UK) and including Univ. Lethbridge (Canada); NAOC (China); CEA, LAM (France); IFSI, Univ. Padua (Italy); IAC (Spain); Stockholm Observatory (Sweden); Imperial College London, RAL, UCL-MSSL, UKATC, Univ. Sussex (UK); and Caltech, JPL, NHSC, Univ. Colorado (USA). This development has been supported by national funding agencies: CSA (Canada); NAOC (China); CEA, CNES, CNRS (France); ASI (Italy); MCINN (Spain); SNSB (Sweden); STFC (UK) and NASA (USA). HIPE is a joint development (are joint developments) by the Herschel Science Ground Segment Consortium, consisting of ESA, the NASA Herschel Science Center, and the HIFI, PACS and SPIRE consortia.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Canadian Space Agency (CSA)UNSPECIFIED
National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC)UNSPECIFIED
Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA)UNSPECIFIED
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)UNSPECIFIED
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MCINN)UNSPECIFIED
Swedish National Space Board (SNSB)UNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords: dust, extinction; galaxies: active; galaxies: ISM; galaxies: jets; submillimetre: galaxies; submillimetre: ISM
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120323-151619697
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Official Citation:Auld, R., Smith, M. W. L., Bendo, G., Pohlen, M., Wilson, C., Gomez, H., Cortese, L., Morganti, R., Baes, M., Boselli, A., Cooray, A., Davies, J. I., Eales, S., Elbaz, D., Galametz, M., Isaak, K., Oosterloo, T., Page, M., Rigby, E., Spinoglio, L. and Struve, C. (2012), Herschel observations of Cen A: stellar heating of two extragalactic dust clouds. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 420: 1882–1896. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19819.x
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:29829
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:23 Mar 2012 22:48
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 19:30

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