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Far-infrared Fine-structure Line Diagnostics of Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxies

Farrah, D. and Lebouteiller, V. and Spoon, H. W. W. and Bernard-Salas, J. and Pearson, C. and Rigopoulou, D. and Smith, H. A. and González-Alfonso, E. and Clements, D. L. and Efstathiou, A. and Cormier, D. and Afonso, J. and Petty, S. M. and Harris, K. and Hurley, P. and Borys, C. and Verma, A. and Cooray, A. and Salvatelli, V. (2013) Far-infrared Fine-structure Line Diagnostics of Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxies. Astrophysical Journal, 776 (1). Art. No. 38. ISSN 0004-637X.

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We present Herschel observations of 6 fine-structure lines in 25 ultraluminous infrared galaxies at z < 0.27. The lines, [O III]52 μm, [N III]57 μm, [O I]63 μm, [N II]122 μm, [O I]145 μm, and [C II]158 μm, are mostly single Gaussians with widths <600 km s^(–1) and luminosities of 10^7-10^9 L_☉. There are deficits in the [O I]63/L_(IR), [N II]/L_(IR), [O I]145/L_(IR), and [C II]/L_(IR) ratios compared to lower luminosity systems. The majority of the line deficits are consistent with dustier H II regions, but part of the [C II] deficit may arise from an additional mechanism, plausibly charged dust grains. This is consistent with some of the [C II] originating from photodissociation regions or the interstellar medium (ISM). We derive relations between far-IR line luminosities and both the IR luminosity and star formation rate. We find that [N II] and both [O I] lines are good tracers of the IR luminosity and star formation rate. In contrast, [C II] is a poor tracer of the IR luminosity and star formation rate, and does not improve as a tracer of either quantity if the [C II] deficit is accounted for. The continuum luminosity densities also correlate with the IR luminosity and star formation rate. We derive ranges for the gas density and ultraviolet radiation intensity of 10^1 < n < 10^(2.5) and 10^(2.2) < G_0 < 10^(3.6), respectively. These ranges depend on optical type, the importance of star formation, and merger stage. We do not find relationships between far-IR line properties and several other parameters: active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity, merger stage, mid-IR excitation, and SMBH mass. We conclude that these far-IR lines arise from gas heated by starlight, and that they are not strongly influenced by AGN activity.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Farrah, D.0000-0003-1748-2010
Spoon, H. W. W.0000-0002-8712-369X
Bernard-Salas, J.0000-0002-8452-8675
Pearson, C.0000-0001-6139-649X
Rigopoulou, D.0000-0001-6854-7545
Clements, D. L.0000-0002-9548-5033
Efstathiou, A.0000-0002-2612-4840
Afonso, J.0000-0002-9149-2973
Cooray, A.0000-0002-3892-0190
Additional Information:© 2013 American Astronomical Society. Received 2013 May 8; accepted 2013 August 6; published 2013 September 24. We thank the staff of the Herschel helpdesk for many valuable discussions, and the referee for a very helpful report. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA. This work is based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope. Spitzer is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA. This research has made extensive use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA, and of NASA’s Astrophysics Data System. This research has also made use of Ned Wright’s online cosmology calculator (Wright 2006). V.L. is supported by a CEA/Marie Curie Eurotalents fellowship. J.A. acknowledges support from the Science and Technology Foundation (FCT, Portugal) through the research grants PTDC/CTE-AST/105287/2008, PEst-OE/FIS/UI2751/2011, and PTDC/FIS-AST/2194/2012. E.G.-A. is a Research Associate at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and thanks the support by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad under projects AYA2010-21697-C05-0 and FIS2012-39162-C06-01. Facilities: Herschel, Spitzer
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Marie Curie FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)PTDC/CTE-AST/105287/2008
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)PEst-OE/FIS/UI2751/2011
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)PTDC/FIS-AST/2194/2012
Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO)AYA2010-21697-C05-0
Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO)FIS2012-39162-C06-01
Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: active; galaxies: evolution; galaxies: ISM; galaxies: starburst; infrared: galaxies
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20131104-084058008
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Far-infrared Fine-structure Line Diagnostics of Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxies D. Farrah et al. 2013 ApJ 776 38
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:42209
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:04 Nov 2013 17:05
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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