Characterizing the UV-to-NIR shape of the dust attenuation curve of IR luminous galaxies up to z similar to 2

Lo Faro, B., Buat, V., Roehlly, Y., Álvarez Márquez, J., Burgarella, D.,Silva, L., Efstathiou, A. 2017. Characterizing the UV-to-NIR shape of the dust attenuation curve of IR luminous galaxies up to z similar to 2. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 472, 2, 1372-1391, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stx1901

In this work, we investigate the far-ultraviolet (UV) to near-infrared (NIR) shape of the dust attenuation curve of a sample of IR-selected dust obscured (ultra)luminous IR galaxies at z similar to 2. The spectral energy distributions (SEDs) are fitted with Code Investigating GALaxy Emission, a physically motivated spectral-synthesis model based on energy balance. Its flexibility allows us to test a wide range of different analytical prescriptions for the dust attenuation curve, including the well-known Calzetti and Charlot & Fall curves, and modified versions of them. The attenuation curves computed under the assumption of our reference double power-law model are in very good agreement with those derived, in previous works, with radiative transfer (RT) SED fitting. We investigate the position of our galaxies in the IRX-beta diagram and find this to be consistent with greyer slopes, on average, in the UV. We also find evidence for a flattening of the attenuation curve in the NIR with respect to more classical Calzetti-like recipes. This larger NIR attenuation yields larger derived stellar masses from SED fitting, by a median factor of similar to 1.4 and up to a factor similar to 10 for the most extreme cases. The star formation rate appears instead to be more dependent on the total amount of attenuation in the galaxy. Our analysis highlights the need for a flexible attenuation curve when reproducing the physical properties of a large variety of objects.

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