The Spatial Distribution of Dust and Stellar Emission of the Magellanic Clouds

Skibba, Ramin A., Engelbracht, Charles W., Aniano, Gonzalo, Babler, Brian, Bernard, Jean-Philippe, Bot, Caroline, Carlson, Lynn Redding, Galametz, Maud, Galliano, Frédéric, Gordon, Karl, Hony, Sacha, Israel, Frank, Lebouteiller, Vianney, Li, Aigen, Madden, Suzanne, Meixner, Margaret, Misselt, Karl, Montiel, Edward, Okumura, Koryo, Panuzzo, Pasquale, Paradis, Deborah, Roman-Duval, Julia, Rubio, Mónica, Sauvage, Marc, Seale, Jonathan, Srinivasan, Sundar, & van Loon, Jacco Th.
2012, The Astrophysical Journal, 761, 42


We study the emission by dust and stars in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, a pair of low-metallicity nearby galaxies, as traced by their spatially resolved spectral energy distributions. This project combines Herschel Space Observatory PACS and SPIRE far-infrared photometry with other data at infrared and optical wavelengths (the data were obtained as part of the HERschel Inventory of The Agents of Galaxy Evolution survey; PI: M. Meixner). We build maps of dust, stellar luminosity, and mass of both Magellanic Clouds, and analyze the spatial distribution of dust/stellar luminosity and mass ratios. These ratios vary considerably throughout the galaxies, generally between the range 0.01 <= L dust/L * <= 0.6 and 10-4 <= M dust/M * <= 4 × 10-3. We observe that the dust/stellar ratios depend on the interstellar medium environment, such as the distance from currently or previously star-forming regions, and on the intensity of the interstellar radiation field. In addition, we construct star formation rate (SFR) maps, and find that the SFR is correlated with the dust/stellar luminosity and dust temperature in both galaxies, demonstrating the relation between star formation, dust emission, and heating, though these correlations exhibit substantial scatter.

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