Dust attenuation in galaxies up to redshift ≃ 2
© The Society of Geomagnetism and Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences (SGEPSS); The Seismological Society of Japan; The Volcanological Society of Japan; The Geodetic Society of Japan; The Japanese Society for Planetary Sciences; TERRAPUB 2013
Received: 25 October 2012
Accepted: 2 February 2013
Published: 24 October 2013
We want to study dust attenuation at ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths at high redshift, where the UV is redshifted to the observed visible light wavelength range. In particular, we search for a bump at 2175 Å. We use photometric data in the Chandra Deep Field South (CDFS), obtained in intermediate and broad band filters by the MUSYC project, to sample the UV rest-frame of 751 galaxies with 0.95 < z < 2.2. When available, infrared (IR) Herschel/PACS* data from the GOODS-Herschel project, coupled with Spitzer/MIPS measurements, are used to estimate the dust emission and to constrain dust attenuation. The spectral energy distribution of each source is fit using the CIGALE code†. The average attenuation curve found for our sample galaxies exhibits a UV bump whose amplitude is similar to that observed in the extinction curve of the LMC super-shell region. The slope of the average attenuation curve at UV wavelength is found steeper than that for local starburst galaxies. The amount of dust attenuation at UV wavelengths is found to increase with stellar mass and to decrease as UV luminosity increases.
Although dust is a minor component in galaxies, it captures a large fraction of the stellar emission, especially at short wavelengths. This process makes the direct observation of stellar populations from the UV to the near-IR insufficient to recover all the emitted photons. Thus reliable dust corrections are mandatory for measuring the star formation rate (SFR) in the universe and its evolution with redshift from UV-optical surveys. The search for relations between dust attenuation and observed or commonly measured quantities are very useful in this context. It is also particularly important to study the dependence of dust attenuation on wavelength in order to recover the intrinsic spectral distribution of the stellar light, which gives information on the star formation history at work in galaxies.
Models solving radiation transfer rely on numerous free parameters and physical assumptions that are difficult to constrain from the integrated emission from entire galaxies and for very large numbers of objects. Simpler models have been specifically developed to analyze large samples of galaxies, introducing simple recipes and templates. The number of free parameters is considerably reduced. These codes are often developed to measure photometric redshifts and physical parameters such as the SFR and the stellar mass. With the availability of mid and far-IR data for large samples of galaxies, new codes are emerging that combine stellar and dust emission on the basis of the balance between the stellar luminosity absorbed by dust and the corresponding luminosity re-emitted in the IR. Attenuation laws are introduced in these codes. The most popular attenuation curve is that of Calzetti et al. (2000), built for local starburst galaxies. This law, based on spectroscopic data, does not exhibit a bump at 2175 Å such as that observed in the extinction curves of the Milky Way (MW) or the Large Magellanic Cloud supershell (LMC2). Since the Calzetti and collaborators work, numerous studies have tried to search for the presence of a bump in the attenuation curve of nearby, non starbursting, galaxies. Most studies based on very different approaches conclude to a presence of bump in large samples of nearby star forming galaxies (Burgarella et al., 2005; Conroy et al., 2010; Wild et al., 2011). At higher redshifts, the situation is more favorable because of the redshifting of the UV emission into visible. Direct evidence of bumps came from the analysis of the galaxy spectra at 1 < z < 2.5 (Noll et al., 2009). Recently Buat et al. (2011b), (2012) analyzed spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of UV selected galaxies in a redshift range between 0.95 and 2.2, observed through intermediate band filters and with IR detections from Herschel/PACS, and found evidence for a UV bump in the dust attenuation curve of all these galaxies. The present work extends the analysis performed in these two papers. After a brief description of the data (Section 2) and of the fitting tool used for the analysis (Section 3), the average attenuation curve obtained with the dataset is compared to extinction curves of LMC2 and MW and to the models of Inoue et al. (2006) in Section 4. Relations linking dust attenuation to UV luminosity and stellar mass are presented in Section 5.
2. High Redshift Galaxies Selected in the Ultraviolet
The sample selection is described in Buat et al. (2012). We briefly summarize the selection process and the main characteristics of the resulting sample. The field considered is located in the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey Southern field (GOODS-S). It was observed at 100 and 160 µm over 264 hours by the PACS instrument onboard of the Herschel Space Observatory (Pilbratt et al., 2010) as part of the GOODS-Herschel open time key project (Elbaz et al., 2011). The MUSYC project (Cardamone et al., 2010) compiled a uniform catalogue of optical and IR photometry for sources in this field, incorporating the GOODS Spitzer IRAC and MIPS data as well as intermediate and broad-band optical data. It provides a valuable means of tracing the detailed shape of the UV rest-frame spectrum. We started with the MUSYC catalogue, selecting sources with a spectroscopic redshift between 0.95 and 2.2 and no X ray detection. In this redshift range we have more than ten photometric bands available in the UV rest-frame and a good sampling around 2175 Å. We consider all the optical broad bands (7 bands from U to z) and intermediate-band filters (11 bands) whose 5σ depth was fainter than 25 ABmag. Our sample contains 751 sources, all detected by IRAC at 3.6µm. 290 sources have a 3σ detection at 24 µm, 76 of these sources are also detected by PACS at 100 µm.
3. CIGALE: A SED Fitting Tool Aimed at Studying Dust Attenuation in Galaxies
The reliability of parameter determinations is extensively discussed in Buat et al. (2012) with the analysis of a catalog of artificial galaxies and that of the 76 galaxies detected by PACS. Parameters are better estimated when at least one IR measurement is available, which is the case for 290 of our objects. Without IR data dust attenuation at UV wavelength is found slightly over-estimated for low values of this parameter (of the order of 0.3 mag for an attenuation of 1 mag), the amplitude of the bump Eb is robustly estimated whereas the slope δ is over-estimated for low values (by 0.1 unit for δ = −0.5). We refer to Buat et al. (2012) for more details about the SED fitting analysis.
4. Average Dust Attenuation Curve
Models predict a variation of the shape of the attenuation curve and of the amplitude of the bump with the amount of dust attenuation (e.g. Inoue et al., 2006). The mean dust attenuation at 1530 A for the sample is found to be ⟨AFUV⟩= 2.2 mag and the average dust attenuation curve given above is expected to be representative of galaxies with this average attenuation.
5. Dust Attenuation Variation
In the absence of IR emission to constrain dust attenuation, empirical relations linking the amount of dust attenuation to some galaxy characteristics are particularly useful. Any systematic trend with the observed UV luminosity is important to account for when intrinsic, attenuation corrected luminosity functions are studied. Another crucial physical parameter is the stellar mass. It is mainly constrained by the optical-NIR part of the SED which is not very sensitive to dust attenuation and can be securely estimated even when dust attenuation is badly known. As a consequence any relation between dust attenuation and stellar mass will be particularly useful at least to apply global corrections to large samples of galaxies. Hereafter we will discuss dust attenuation at FUV, with a FUV wavelength taken at 1530 Å (corresponding to the FUV GALEX filter). The FUV luminosity LFUV is defined as λ × Lλ and expressed in solar units (L☉).
5.1 Dust attenuation and observed luminosities
The detected galaxies become more luminous when the redshift increases because of selection effects as clearly seen in Fig. 4. So any study of the variation of dust attenuation with z must account for this decrease of the attenuation when LFUV increases.
5.2 Dust attenuation and stellar masses
The trend found with the FUV luminosity (i.e. a lower mean dust attenuation when LFUV increases) is clearly visible in Fig. 5, upper panel. It might imply a modification of the mean relation as a function of the luminosity, the FUV luminosity also acting as a parameter in the variation of dust attenuation. A complete analysis of this relation per bin of FUV luminosity and stellar mass at different redshifts has still to be performed. The current samples are too small for such a study. Heinis et al. (in preparation) will analyze a much larger sample of galaxies in the COSMOS field based on stacked Herschel/SPIRE images to better constrain average dust attenuation factors.
k′(λ) = 2.659(−2.156+1.509104/λ− 0.198108/λ2 + 0.0111012/λ3) + 4.05 for 1200 < λ < 6300 Åand k′(λ) = 2.659(−1.857 + 1.040104/λ) + 4.05 for 6300 < λ < 22000 Å
This work is partially supported by the French National Agency for research (ANR-09-BLAN-0224). PACS has been developed by a consortium of institutes led by MPE (Germany) and including UVIE (Austria); KU Leuven, CSL, IMEC (Belgium); CEA, LAM (France); MPIA (Germany); INAFIFSI/OAA/OAP/OAT, LENS, SISSA (Italy); IAC (Spain). This development has been supported by the funding agencies BMVIT (Austria), ESA-PRODEX (Belgium), CEA/CNES (France), DLR (Germany), ASI/INAF (Italy), and CICYT/MCYT (Spain).
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