Mapping far-IR emission from the central kiloparsec of NGC 1097

Sandstrom, K., Krause, O., Linz, H., Schinnerer, E., Dumas, G., Meidt, S., Rix, H.-W., Sauvage, M., Walter, F., Kennicutt, R. C., Calzetti, D., Appleton, P., Armus, L., Beirão, P., Bolatto, A., Brandl, B., Crocker, A., Croxall, K., Dale, D., Draine, B. T., Engelbracht, C., Gil de Paz, A., Gordon, K., Groves, B., Hao, C.-N., Helou, G., Hinz, J., Hunt, L., Johnson, B. D., Koda, J., Leroy, A., Murphy, E. J., Rahman, N., Roussel, H., Skibba, R., Smith, J.-D., Srinivasan, S., Vigroux, L., Warren, B. E., Wilson, C. D., Wolfire, M., & Zibetti, S.
2010, Astronomy and Astrophysics, 518, L59


Using photometry of NGC 1097 from the Herschel PACS (Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer) instrument, we study the resolved properties of thermal dust continuum emission from a circumnuclear starburst ring with a radius ~900 pc. These observations are the first to resolve the structure of a circumnuclear ring at wavelengths that probe the peak (i.e. λ ~ 100 μm) of the dust spectral energy distribution. The ring dominates the far-infrared (far-IR) emission from the galaxy - the high angular resolution of PACS allows us to isolate the ring's contribution and we find it is responsible for 75, 60 and 55% of the total flux of NGC 1097 at 70, 100 and 160 μm, respectively. We compare the far-IR structure of the ring to what is seen at other wavelengths and identify a sequence of far-IR bright knots that correspond to those seen in radio and mid-IR images. The mid- and far-IR band ratios in the ring vary by less than ±20% azimuthally, indicating modest variation in the radiation field heating the dust on ~600 pc scales. We explore various explanations for the azimuthal uniformity in the far-IR colors of the ring including a lack of well-defined age gradients in the young stellar cluster population, a dominant contribution to the far-IR emission from dust heated by older (>10 Myr) stars and/or a quick smoothing of local enhancements in dust temperature due to the short orbital period of the ring. Finally, we improve previous limits on the far-IR flux from the inner ~600 pc of NGC 1097 by an order of magnitude, providing a better estimate of the total bolometric emission arising from the active galactic nucleus and its associated central starburst. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.

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Copyright © 2012 Karl D. Gordon All Rights Reserved