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High-resolution, 3D radiative transfer modeling I. The grand-design spiral galaxy M51

De Looze, Ilse and Fritz, Jacopo and Baes, Maarten and Bendo, George J. and Cortese, Luca and Boquien, Médéric and Boselli, Alessandro and Camps, Peter and Cooray, Asantha and Cormier, Diane and Davies, Jon I. and De Geyter, Gert and Hughes, Thomas M. and Jones, Anthony P. and Karczewski, Oskar Ł. and Lebouteiller, Vianney and Lu, Nanyao and Madden, Suzanne C. and Rémy-Ruyer, A. and Spinoglio, Luigi and Smith, Matthew W. L. and Viaene, Sebastien and Wilson, Christine D. (2014) High-resolution, 3D radiative transfer modeling I. The grand-design spiral galaxy M51. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 571 . Art. No. A69. ISSN 0004-6361. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201424747.

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Context. Dust reprocesses about half of the stellar radiation in galaxies. The thermal re-emission by dust of absorbed energy is considered to be driven merely by young stars so is often applied to tracing the star formation rate in galaxies. Recent studies have argued that the old stellar population might be responsible for a non-negligible fraction of the radiative dust heating. Aims. In this work, we aim to analyze the contribution of young (≲100 Myr) and old (~10 Gyr) stellar populations to radiative dust heating processes in the nearby grand-design spiral galaxy M 51 using radiative transfer modeling. High-resolution 3D radiative transfer (RT) models are required to describe the complex morphologies of asymmetric spiral arms and clumpy star-forming regions and to model the propagation of light through a dusty medium. Methods. In this paper, we present a new technique developed to model the radiative transfer effects in nearby face-on galaxies. We construct a high-resolution 3D radiative transfer model with the Monte-Carlo code SKIRT to account for the absorption, scattering, and non-local thermal equilibrium (NLTE) emission of dust in M 51. The 3D distribution of stars is derived from the 2D morphology observed in the IRAC 3.6 μm, GALEX FUV, Hα, and MIPS 24 μm wavebands, assuming an exponential vertical distribution with an appropriate scale height. The dust geometry is constrained through the far-ultraviolet (FUV) attenuation, which is derived from the observed total-infrared-to-far-ultraviolet luminosity ratio. The stellar luminosity, star formation rate, and dust mass have been scaled to reproduce the observed stellar spectral energy distribution (SED), FUV attenuation, and infrared SED. Results. The dust emission derived from RT calculations is consistent with far-infrared and submillimeter observations of M 51, implying that the absorbed stellar energy is balanced by the thermal re-emission of dust. The young stars provide 63% of the energy for heating the dust responsible for the total infrared emission (8−1000 μm), while 37% of the dust emission is governed through heating by the evolved stellar population. In individual wavebands, the contribution from young stars to the dust heating dominates at all infrared wavebands but gradually decreases towards longer infrared and submillimeter wavebands for which the old stellar population becomes a non-negligible source of heating. Upon extrapolation of the results for M 51, we present prescriptions for estimating the contribution of young stars to the global dust heating based on a tight correlation between the dust heating fraction and specific star formation rate.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Cortese, Luca0000-0002-7422-9823
Boquien, Médéric0000-0003-0946-6176
Cooray, Asantha0000-0002-3892-0190
Lu, Nanyao0000-0002-8948-1044
Smith, Matthew W. L.0000-0002-3532-6970
Wilson, Christine D.0000-0001-5817-0991
Additional Information:© 2014 ESO. Article published by EDP Sciences. Received 4 August 2014. Accepted 11 September 2014. Published online 10 November 2014. We thank the referee for useful comments and suggestions. We thank Richard Tuffs, Cristina Popescu, Simone Bianchi, Manolis Xilouris, and Giovanni Natale for fruitful discussions on the analysis of the dust heating fractions and the clumpiness of dust. We thank Robert C. Kennicutt Jr. for useful suggestions. We also thank Brent Groves for kindly providing us the dust masses associated with the emission spectra of the young Hii regions with surrounding PDR envelopes. IDL is a postdoctoral researcher of the FWO-Vlaanderen (Belgium). M.B., J.F. and T.H. acknowledge the financial support of the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) through the PRODEX project “Herschel-PACS Guaranteed Time and Open Time Programs: Science Exploitation” (C90370). P.C. acknowledges the financial support of the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) through the CHARM framework (Contemporary physical challenges in Heliospheric and AstRophysical Models), a phase VII Interuniversity Attraction Pole (IAP) program. L.C. acknowledges support under the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Projects funding scheme (project number 130100664). PACS has been developed by a consortium of institutes led by MPE (Germany) and including UVIE (Austria); KU Leuven, CSL, IMEC (Belgium); CEA, LAM (France); MPIA (Germany); INAFIFSI/ OAA/OAP/OAT, LENS, SISSA (Italy); IAC (Spain). This development has been supported by the funding agencies BMVIT (Austria), ESA-PRODEX (Belgium), CEA/CNES (France), DLR (Germany), ASI/INAF (Italy), and CICYT/ MCYT (Spain). 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 and UKSA (UK); and NASA (USA).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) PRODEXC90370
Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) CHARMUNSPECIFIED
Australian Research Council130100664
Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Innovation und Technologie (BMVIT)UNSPECIFIED
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)UNSPECIFIED
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)UNSPECIFIED
Comisión Interministerial de Ciencia y Tecnología (CICYT)UNSPECIFIED
Canadian Space Agency (CSA)UNSPECIFIED
National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC)UNSPECIFIED
Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA)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
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)UNSPECIFIED
United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA)UNSPECIFIED
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Ministerio de Ciencia Y Tecnologia (MCYT)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:radiative transfer; dust, extinction; galaxies: individual: M 51; galaxies: ISM; infrared: galaxies
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150219-133229716
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Official Citation:High-resolution, 3D radiative transfer modeling - I. The grand-design spiral galaxy M 51 Ilse De Looze, Jacopo Fritz, Maarten Baes, George J. Bendo, Luca Cortese, Médéric Boquien, Alessandro Boselli, Peter Camps, Asantha Cooray, Diane Cormier, Jon I. Davies, Gert De Geyter, Thomas M. Hughes, Anthony P. Jones, Oskar Ł. Karczewski, Vianney Lebouteiller, Nanyao Lu, Suzanne C. Madden, Aurélie Rémy-Ruyer, Luigi Spinoglio, Matthew W. L. Smith, Sebastien Viaene and Christine D. Wilson A&A 571 A69 (2014) DOI:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:55020
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:20 Feb 2015 15:35
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 20:40

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