Herschel-ATLAS: the surprising diversity of dust-selected galaxies in the local submillimetre Universe

Clark, C.J.R. and Dunne, L. and Gomez, H.L. and Maddox, S. and De Vis, P. and Smith, M.W.L. and Eales, S.A. and Baes, M. and Bendo, G.J. and Bourne, N. and Driver, S.P. and Dye, S. and Furlanetto, C. and Grootes, M.W. and Ivison, R.J. and Schofield, S.P. and Robotham, A.S.G. and Rowlands, K. and Valiante, E. and Vlahakis, C. and Werf, P. van der and Wright, A.H. and de Zotti, G. (2015) Herschel-ATLAS: the surprising diversity of dust-selected galaxies in the local submillimetre Universe. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 452 (1). pp. 397-430. ISSN 1365-2966

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Abstract

We present the properties of the first 250 μm blind sample of nearby galaxies (15 < D < 46 Mpc) containing 42 objects from the Herschel Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey. Herschel's sensitivity probes the faint end of the dust luminosity function for the first time, spanning a range of stellar mass (7.4 < M⋆ < 11.3 log10 M⊙), star formation activity (−11.8 < SSFR < −8.9 log10 yr−1), gas fraction (3–96 per cent), and colour (0.6 < FUV–KS < 7.0 mag). The median cold dust temperature is 14.6 K, colder than in the Herschel Reference Survey (18.5 K) and Planck Early Release Compact Source Catalogue (17.7 K). The mean dust-to-stellar mass ratio in our sample is higher than these surveys by factors of 3.7 and 1.8, with a dust mass volume density of (3.7 ± 0.7) × 105 M⊙ Mpc−3. Counter-intuitively, we find that the more dust rich a galaxy, the lower its UV attenuation. Over half of our dust-selected sample are very blue in FUV–KS colour, with irregular and/or highly flocculent morphology; these galaxies account for only 6 per cent of the sample's stellar mass but contain over 35 per cent of the dust mass. They are the most actively star-forming galaxies in the sample, with the highest gas fractions and lowest UV attenuation. They also appear to be in an early stage of converting their gas into stars, providing valuable insights into the chemical evolution of young galaxies.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2015 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Keywords: galaxies: evolution, galaxies: general, galaxies: irregular, galaxies: ISM, infrared: galaxies, submillimetre: galaxies
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Physics and Astronomy
Identification Number: 10.1093/mnras/stv1276
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2017 09:49
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2017 04:03
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/42352

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