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The Impact of Evolving Infrared Spectral Energy Distributions of Galaxies on Star Formation Rate Estimates

Nordon, R. and Fadda, D. and Yan, L. (2012) The Impact of Evolving Infrared Spectral Energy Distributions of Galaxies on Star Formation Rate Estimates. Astrophysical Journal, 745 (2). Art. No. 182. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/745/2/182.

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We combine Herschel-Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS) data from the PACS Evolutionary Probe (PEP) program with Spitzer 24 μm and 16 μm photometry and ultra deep Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) mid-infrared spectra to measure the mid- to far-infrared spectral energy distribution (SED) of 0.7 < z < 2.5 normal star-forming galaxies (SFGs) around the main sequence (the redshift-dependent relation of star formation rate (SFR) and stellar mass). Our very deep data confirm from individual far-infrared detections that z ~ 2 SFRs are overestimated if based on 24 μm fluxes and SED templates that are calibrated via local trends with luminosity. Galaxies with similar ratios of rest-frame νL_ν(8) to 8-1000 μm infrared luminosity (LIR) tend to lie along lines of constant offset from the main sequence. We explore the relation between SED shape and offset in specific star formation rate (SSFR) from the redshift-dependent main sequence. Main-sequence galaxies tend to have a similar νL_ν(8)/LIR regardless of LIR and redshift, up to z ~ 2.5, and νL_ν(8)/LIR decreases with increasing offset above the main sequence in a consistent way at the studied redshifts. We provide a redshift-independent calibration of SED templates in the range of 8-60 μm as a function of Δlog(SSFR) offset from the main sequence. Redshift dependency enters only through the evolution of the main sequence with time. Ultra deep IRS spectra match these SED trends well and verify that they are mostly due to a change in ratio of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) to LIR rather than continua of hidden active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Alternatively, we discuss the dependence of νL_ν(8)/LIR on LIR. The same νL_ν(8)/LIR is reached at increasingly higher LIR at higher redshift, with shifts relative to local by 0.5 and 0.8 dex in log(LIR) at redshifts z ~ 1 and z ~ 2. Corresponding SED template calibrations are provided for use if no stellar masses are on hand. For most of those z ~ 2 SFGs that also host an AGN, the mid-infrared is dominated by the star-forming component.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Fadda, D.0000-0002-3698-7076
Yan, L.0000-0003-1710-9339
Additional Information:© 2012 American Astronomical Society. Received 2011 June 5; accepted 2011 November 7; published 2012 January 17. PACS has been developed by a consortium of institutes led by MPE (Germany) and including UVIE (Austria); KUL, CSL, IMEC (Belgium); CEA, OAMP (France); MPIA (Germany); IFSI, OAP/OAT, OAA/CAISMI, LENS, SISSA (Italy); and IAC (Spain). This development has been supported by the funding agencies BMVIT (Austria), ESA-PRODEX (Belgium), CEA/CNES (France), DLR (Germany), ASI (Italy), and CICYT/MCYT (Spain).
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Innovation und Technologie (BMVIT)UNSPECIFIED
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)UNSPECIFIED
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)UNSPECIFIED
Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords: cosmology: observations; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: fundamental parameters; galaxies: starburst; infrared: galaxies
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120328-065507195
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:The Impact of Evolving Infrared Spectral Energy Distributions of Galaxies on Star Formation Rate Estimates R. Nordon et al. 2012 ApJ 745 182
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:29867
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:28 Mar 2012 14:47
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 19:31

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