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Published February 21, 2016 | Published
Journal Article Open

The HerMES submillimetre local and low-redshift luminosity functions


We used wide-area surveys over 39 deg2 by the HerMES (Herschel Multi-tiered Extragalactic Survey) collaboration, performed with the Herschel Observatory SPIRE multiwavelength camera, to estimate the low-redshift, 0.02 < z < 0.5, monochromatic luminosity functions (LFs) of galaxies at 250, 350 and 500 μm. Within this redshift interval, we detected 7087 sources in five independent sky areas, ∼40 per cent of which have spectroscopic redshifts, while for the remaining objects photometric redshifts were used. The SPIRE LFs in different fields did not show any field-to-field variations beyond the small differences to be expected from cosmic variance. SPIRE flux densities were also combined with Spitzer photometry and multiwavelength archival data to perform a complete spectral energy distribution fitting analysis of SPIRE detected sources to calculate precise k-corrections, as well as the bolometric infrared (IR; 8–1000 μm) LFs and their low-z evolution from a combination of statistical estimators. Integration of the latter prompted us to also compute the local luminosity density and the comoving star formation rate density (SFRD) for our sources, and to compare them with theoretical predictions of galaxy formation models. The LFs show significant and rapid luminosity evolution already at low redshifts, 0.02 < z < 0.2, with L^∗_(IR)∝(1+z)^(6.0±0.4) and Φ^∗_(IR) ∝(1+z)^(−2.1±0.4), L^∗_(250)∝(1+z)5.3±0.2 and Φ^∗_(250)∝(1+z)^(−0.6±0.4) estimated using the IR bolometric and the 250 μm LFs, respectively. Converting our IR LD estimate into an SFRD assuming a standard Salpeter initial mass function and including the unobscured contribution based on the UV dust-uncorrected emission from local galaxies, we estimate an SFRD scaling of SFRD_0 + 0.08z, where SFRD_0 ≃ (1.9 ± 0.03) × 10^(−2) [M_⊙ Mpc^(−3)] is our total SFRD estimate at z ∼ 0.02.

Additional Information

© 2015 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2015 November 17. Received 2015 November 16; in original form 2014 December 1. First published online December 30, 2015. Lucia Marchetti (LM) acknowledges support from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) under grant ST/J001597/1. Lucia Marchetti, Mattia Vaccari and Alberto Franceschini acknowledge support from ASI 'Herschel Science' Contracts I/005/07/1 and I/005/11/0. Mattia Negrello produced additional predictions based on his models. Julie Wardlow acknowledges the Dark Cosmology Centre funded by the Danish National Research Foundation. Mattia Vaccari acknowledges support from the Square Kilometre Array South Africa project, the South African National Research Foundation and Department of Science and Technology (DST/CON 0134/2014), the European Commission Research Executive Agency (FP7-SPACE-2013-1 GA 607254) and the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (PGR GA ZA14GR02). Nicholas Seymour is the recipient of an ARC Future Fellowship. Anna Feltre acknowledges support from the ERC via an Advanced Grant under grant agreement no. 321323-NEOGAL. This work makes use of STILTS http://www.starlink.ac.uk/stilts/ and TOPCAT (Taylor 2005). 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); Stockholm Observatory (Sweden); STFC (UK); and NASA (USA). The authors would like to thank the anonymous referee for helpful comments.

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