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Characterizing Dust Attenuation in Local Star-forming Galaxies: UV and Optical Reddening

Battisti, A. J. and Calzetti, D. and Chary, R.-R. (2016) Characterizing Dust Attenuation in Local Star-forming Galaxies: UV and Optical Reddening. Astrophysical Journal, 818 (1). Art. No. 13. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/818/1/13.

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The dust attenuation for a sample of ~10,000 local (z ≾ 0.1) star-forming galaxies is constrained as a function of their physical properties. We utilize aperture-matched multiwavelength data available from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to ensure that regions of comparable size in each galaxy are being analyzed. We follow the method of Calzetti et al. and characterize the dust attenuation through the UV power-law index, β, and the dust optical depth, which is quantified using the difference in Balmer emission line optical depth, τ^1_ β = τ_(Hβ) – τ_(Hα). The observed linear relationship between β and τ^1_ β is similar to the local starburst relation, but the large scatter (σ_(int) = 0.44) suggests that there is significant variation in the local universe. We derive a selective attenuation curve over the range 1250 Å < λ < 8320 Å and find that a single attenuation curve is effective for characterizing the majority of galaxies in our sample. This curve has a slightly lower selective attenuation in the UV compared to previously determined curves. We do not see evidence to suggest that a 2175 Å feature is significant in the average attenuation curve. Significant positive correlations are seen between the amount of UV and optical reddening and galaxy metallicity, mass, star formation rate (SFR), and SFR surface density. This provides a potential tool for gauging attenuation where the stellar population is unresolved, such as at high z.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Battisti, A. J.0000-0003-4569-2285
Calzetti, D.0000-0002-5189-8004
Chary, R.-R.0000-0001-7583-0621
Additional Information:© 2016 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 October 19; accepted 2015 December 22; published 2016 February 2. The authors thank the anonymous referee, whose suggestions helped to clarify and improve the content of this work. A. J.B. also thanks K. Grasha for comments that improved the clarity of this paper. Part of this work has been supported by NASA, via the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Euclid Project Office, as part of the “Science Investigations as Members of the Euclid Consortium and Euclid Science Team” program. This work is based on observations made with the NASA Galaxy Evolution Explorer. GALEX is operated for NASA by the California Institute of Technology under NASA contract NAS5-98034. This work has made use of SDSS data. Funding for the SDSS and SDSS-II has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, the Max Planck Society, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The SDSS Web site is The SDSS is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Participating InstitutionsUNSPECIFIED
Japanese MonbukagakushoUNSPECIFIED
Max Planck SocietyUNSPECIFIED
Higher Education Funding Council for EnglandUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:dust, extinction – galaxies: evolution – galaxies: general – galaxies: ISM
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160316-150521304
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:65401
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Mar 2016 22:59
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:45

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