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Calibrating the James Webb Space Telescope Filters as Star Formation Rate Indicators

Senarath, Madhooshi R. and Brown, Michael J. I. and Cluver, Michelle E. and Moustakas, John and Armus, Lee and Jarrett, Thomas H. (2018) Calibrating the James Webb Space Telescope Filters as Star Formation Rate Indicators. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 869 (2). Art. No. L26. ISSN 2041-8213. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aaf4ff.

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We have calibrated the 6.5 m James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) mid-infrared (MIR) filters as star formation rate (SFR) indicators, using JWST photometry synthesized from Spitzer spectra of 49 low-redshift galaxies, which cover a wider luminosity range than most previous studies. We use Balmer-decrement-corrected Hα luminosity and synthesized MIR photometry to empirically calibrate the Spitzer, WISE, and JWST filters as SFR indicators. Our Spitzer and WISE calibrations are in good agreement with recent calibrations from the literature. While MIR luminosity may be directly proportional to SFR for high-luminosity galaxies, we find a power-law relationship between MIR luminosity and SFR for low-luminosity galaxies (L_(Hα) ⩽ 10^(43) erg s^(-1)). We find that for galaxies with an Hα luminosity of 10^(40) erg s^(-1) (corresponding to an SFR of ~0.055 M⊙ yr^(-1)), the corresponding JWST MIR ν L ν luminosity is between 10^(40.50) and 10^(41.00) erg s^(-1). Power-law fits of JWST luminosity as a function of Hα luminosity have indices between 1.17 and 1.32. We find that the scatter in the JWST filter calibrations decreases with increasing wavelength from 0.39 to 0.20 dex, although F1000W is an exception where the scatter is just 0.24 dex.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Senarath, Madhooshi R.0000-0003-1905-5426
Brown, Michael J. I.0000-0002-1207-9137
Cluver, Michelle E.0000-0002-9871-6490
Armus, Lee0000-0003-3498-2973
Jarrett, Thomas H.0000-0002-4939-734X
Additional Information:© 2018 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2018 September 25; revised 2018 November 28; accepted 2018 November 28; published 2018 December 14. This Letter is based in part on archival data obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Support for this Letter was provided by an award issued by JPL/Caltech. This publication makes use of data products from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, which is a joint project of the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This research is based on observations with AKARI, a JAXA project with the participation of ESA. Facilities: Bok - Steward Observatory 2.3 meter Bok Telescope, JWST - , Spitzer - , WISE - , Akari. -
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:galaxies: evolution – galaxies: general – galaxies: photometry – stars: formation
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181217-095849029
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Official Citation:Madhooshi R. Senarath et al 2018 ApJL 869 L26
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:91856
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:18 Dec 2018 18:17
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 03:44

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