Observations of cold dust in nearby elliptical galaxies

Leeuw, LL, Sansom, Anne E orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2782-7388, Robson, EI and Haas, M (2004) Observations of cold dust in nearby elliptical galaxies. The Astrophysical Journal, 612 (2). pp. 837-847. ISSN 0004-637X

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Official URL: http://iopscience.iop.org/0004-637X/612/2/837/


Spectral energy distribution (SED) analyses that include new millimeter to far-infrared (FIR) observations obtained with continuum instruments on the Nobeyama and James Clerk Maxwell Telescopes and the Infrared Space Observatory are presented for seven nearby (<45 Mpc) FIR-bright elliptical galaxies. These are analyzed together with archival FIR and shortwave radio data obtained from the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED). The radio to infrared SEDs are best-fitted by power law plus graybody models of dust residing in the central galactic regions within a 2.4 kpc diameter and with temperatures between ~21 and 28 K, emissivity index simeq2, and masses from ~1.6 to 19 × 105 M☉. The emissivity index is consistent with dust constituting amorphous silicate and carbonaceous grains previously modeled for stellar-heated dust observed in the Galaxy and other nearby extragalactic sources. Using updated dust absorption coefficients for this type of dust, dust masses are estimated that are similar to those determined from earlier FIR data alone, even though the latter results implied hotter dust temperatures. Fluxes and masses that are consistent with the new FIR and submillimeter data are estimated for dust cooler than 20 K within the central galactic regions. Tighter physical constraints for such cold, diffuse dust (if it exists) with low surface brightness will need sensitive FIR to submillimeter observations with the Spitzer Space Telescope, SCUBA2, or ALMA.

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