Herschel-ATLAS: Correlations Between Dust and Gas in Local Submm-Selected Galaxies

R. J. Ivison, M. J. Michalowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We present an analysis of CO molecular gas tracers in a sample of 500 mu m-selected Herschel Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey (H-ATLAS) galaxies at z <0.05 (cz <14990 km s(-1)). Using 22-500 mu m photometry from Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, Infrared Astronomical Satellite and Herschel, with HI data from the literature, we investigate correlations between warm and cold dust, and tracers of the gas in different phases. The correlation between global CO(3-2) line fluxes and far-infrared (FIR)-submillimetre (submm) fluxes weakens with increasing infrared wavelength (lambda greater than or similar to 60 mu m), as a result of colder dust being less strongly associated with dense gas. Conversely, CO(2-1) and HI line fluxes both appear to be better correlated with longer wavelengths, suggesting that cold dust is more strongly associated with diffuse atomic and molecular gas phases, consistent with it being at least partially heated by radiation from old stellar populations. The increased scatter at long wavelengths implies that submm fluxes are a poorer tracer of star formation rate (SFR). Fluxes at 22 and 60 mu m are also better correlated with diffuse gas tracers than dense CO(3-2), probably due to very small grain emission in the diffuse interstellar medium, which is not correlated with SFR. The FIR/CO luminosity ratio and the dust mass/CO luminosity ratio both decrease with increasing luminosity, as a result of either correlations between mass and metallicity (changing CO/H-2) or between CO luminosity and excitation [changing CO(3-2)/CO(1-0)].
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-502
Number of pages24
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • galaxies: ISM
  • infrared: galaxies
  • radio lines: galaxies
  • submillimetre: galaxies


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