Spitzer Observations of Cold Dust Galaxies

Willmer, C. N. A., Rieke, G. H., Le Floc'h, Emeric, Hinz, J. L., Engelbracht, C. W., Marcillac, Delphine, & Gordon, K. D.
2009, The Astronomical Journal, 138, 146


We combine new Spitzer Space Telescope observations in the mid-infrared and far-infrared (FIR) with SCUBA 850 μm observations to improve the measurement of dust temperatures, masses, and luminosities for 11 galaxies of the SCUBA Local Universe Galaxy Survey. By fitting dust models we measure typical dust masses of 107.9 M sun and dust luminosities of ~1010 L sun, for galaxies with modest star formation rates. The data presented in this paper combined with previous observations show that cold dust is present in all types of spiral galaxies and is a major contributor to their total luminosity. Because of the lower dust temperature of the SCUBA sources measured in this paper, they have flatter FIR νFν(160 μm)/νFν(850 μm) slopes than the larger Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey (SINGS), the sample that provides the best measurements of the dust properties of galaxies in the nearby universe. The new data presented here added to SINGS extend the parameter space that is well covered by local galaxies, providing a comprehensive set of templates that can be used to interpret the observations of nearby and distant galaxies.

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