A Caltech Library Service

Herschel observations of Hickson compact groups of galaxies: Unveiling the properties of cold dust

Bitsakis, T. and Charmandaris, V. and Appleton, P. N. and Díaz-Santos, T. and Le Floc'h, E. and da Cunha, E. and Alatalo, K. and Cluver, M. E. (2014) Herschel observations of Hickson compact groups of galaxies: Unveiling the properties of cold dust. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 565 . Art. No. A25. ISSN 0004-6361. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201323349.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We present a Herschel far-infrared and sub-millimetre (sub-mm) study of a sample of 120 galaxies in 28 Hickson compact groups (HCGs). Fitting their UV to sub-mm spectral energy distributions with the model of da Cunha et al. (2008), we accurately estimate the dust masses, luminosities, and temperatures of the individual galaxies. We find that nearly half of the late-type galaxies in dynamically “old” groups, those with more than 25% of early-type members and redder UV-optical colours, also have significantly lower dust-to-stellar mass ratios compared to those of actively star-forming galaxies of the same mass found both in HCGs and in the field. Examining their dust-to-gas mass ratios, we conclude that dust was stripped out of these systems as a result of the gravitational and hydrodynamic interactions, experienced owing to previous encounters with other group members. About 40% of the early-type galaxies (mostly lenticulars), in dynamically “old” groups, display dust properties similar to those of the UV-optical red late-type galaxies. Given their stellar masses, star formation rates, and UV-optical colours, we suggest that red late-type and dusty lenticular galaxies represent transition populations between blue star-forming disk galaxies and quiescent early-type ellipticals. On the other hand, both the complete absence of any correlation between the dust and stellar masses of the dusty ellipticals and their enhanced star formation activity, suggest the increase in their gas and dust content due to accretion and merging. Our deep Herschel observations also allow us to detect the presence of diffuse cold intragroup dust in 4 HCGs. We also find that the fraction of 250 μm emission that is located outside of the main bodies of both the red late-type galaxies and the dusty lenticulars is 15−20% of their integrated emission at this band. All these findings are consistent with an evolutionary scenario in which gas dissipation, shocks, and turbulence, in addition to tidal interactions, shape the evolution of galaxies in compact groups.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Bitsakis, T.0000-0001-5787-8242
Charmandaris, V.0000-0002-2688-1956
Appleton, P. N.0000-0002-7607-8766
Díaz-Santos, T.0000-0003-0699-6083
da Cunha, E.0000-0001-9759-4797
Alatalo, K.0000-0002-4261-2326
Cluver, M. E.0000-0002-9871-6490
Additional Information:© 2014 ESO. Article published by EDP Sciences. Received 28 December 2013; Accepted 5 February 2014. T.B. and V.C. would like to acknowledge partial support from the EU FP7 Grant PIRSES-GA-2012-316788. This work is based, in part, on observations made with Herschel, a European Space Agency Cornerstone Mission with significant participation by NASA. Support for this work was also provided by NASA through an award issued by JPL/Caltech. We also appreciate the very useful comments of the referee, A. Boselli, which helped improve this paper. Finally, we are grateful to L. Verdes-Montenegro for providing the HI moment-0 maps of 4 HCGs.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Marie Curie FellowshipPIRSES-GA-2012-316788
Subject Keywords:galaxies: evolution; galaxies: interactions; galaxies: groups: general; infrared: galaxies
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140708-100250297
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Herschel observations of Hickson compact groups of galaxies: Unveiling the properties of cold dust T. Bitsakis, V. Charmandaris, P. N. Appleton, T. Díaz-Santos, E. Le Floc’h, E. da Cunha, K. Alatalo and M. Cluver A&A 565 A25 (2014) DOI:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:47068
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:08 Jul 2014 19:28
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 17:34

Repository Staff Only: item control page