The dust SED of dwarf galaxies

Hermelo, I., Lisenfeld, U., Relaño, M., Tuffs, R. J., Popescu, Cristina orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7866-702X and Groves, B. (2013) The dust SED of dwarf galaxies. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 549 . A70. ISSN 0004-6361

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Context. High-resolution data from Spitzer, Herschel, and Planck allow us to probe the entire spectral energy distribution (SED) of morphologically separated components of the dust emission from nearby galaxies and allow a more detailed comparison between data and models. Aims. We wish to establish the physical origin of dust heating and emission based on radiation transfer models, that self-consistently connect the emission components from diffuse dust and the dust in massive star forming regions. Methods. NGC 4214 is a nearby dwarf galaxy with a large set of ancillary data, ranging from the ultraviolet (UV) to radio, including maps from Spitzer and Herschel and detections from Planck. We mapped this galaxy with MAMBO at 1.2mm at the IRAM 30m telescope. We extracted separate dust emission components for the HII regions (plus their associated PDRs on pc scales) and for the diffuse dust (on kpc scales). We analysed the full UV to FIR/submm SED of the galaxy using a radiation transfer model that self-consistently treats the dust emission from diffuse and star forming (SF) complexes components, considering the illumination of diffuse dust both by the distributed stellar populations and by escaping light from the HII regions. While maintaining consistency within the framework of this model, we additionally used a model that provides a detailed description of the dust emission from the HII regions and their surrounding PDRs on pc scales. Thanks to the large amount of available data and many previous studies for NGC 4214, very few free parameters remained in the model fitting process. Results. We achieve a satisfactory fit for the emission from HII + PDR regions on pc scales, with the exception of the emission at 8 μm, which is underpredicted by the model. For the diffuse emission we achieve a good fit if we assume that about 40-65% of the emission escaping the HII + PDR regions is able to leave the galaxy without passing through a diffuse ISM, which is not an unlikely scenario for a dwarf galaxy that has recently undergone a nuclear starburst. We determine a dust-to-gas mass ratio of 350-470, which is close to the expected value based on the metallicity. © 2012 ESO.

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