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Published July 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

Radial distribution of gas and dust in spiral galaxies: The case of M 99 (NGC 4254) and M 100 (NGC 4321)


By combining Herschel-SPIRE data with archival Spitzer, H i , and CO maps, we investigate the spatial distribution of gas and dust in the two famous grand-design spirals M 99 and M 100 in the Virgo cluster. Thanks to the unique resolution and sensitivity of the Herschel-SPIRE photometer, we are for the first time able to measure the distribution and extent of cool, submillimetre (submm)-emitting dust inside and beyond the optical radius. We compare this with the radial variation in both the gas mass and the metallicity. Although we adopt a model-independent, phenomenological approach, our analysis provides important insights. We find the dust extending to at least the optical radius of the galaxy and showing breaks in its radial profiles at similar positions as the stellar distribution. The colour indices f350/f500 and f250/f350 decrease radially consistent with the temperature decreasing with radius. We also find evidence of an increasing gas to dust ratio with radius in the outer regions of both galaxies.

Additional Information

© 2010 ESO. Received 30 March 2010; Accepted 19 April 2010; Published online 16 July 2010. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA. SPIRE has been developed by a consortium of institutes led by Cardiff Univ. (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); 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 (UK); and NASA (USA). Thanks to Tom Hughes for providing the recalibrated metallicities. The SDSS jpg was taken from http://www.sdss.org using the Finding Chart tool.

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