The 60-micron and far-infrared luminosity functions of IRAS galaxies

W. Saunders, M. Rowan-Robinson, A. Lawrence, G. Efstathiou, N. Kaiser, R. S. Ellis, C. S. Frenk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 60-micron and far-IR luminosity functions for IRAS galaxies are presently found to be well characterized by an almost constant density/decade in luminosity, for luminosities in the 0.1 million-1 billion solar luminosities/h sq, as well as by a Gaussian dependence on log L above 1 billion solar luminosities/h sq. The shape of the luminosity function is highly insensitive to the value of both the Hubble constant and the character of local bulk flows. The far-IR luminosity density of the universe is about 1/3 that of the blue luminosity density, and is evenly divided between cool disk emission and warmer starburst emission.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-337
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1990


  • Computational Astrophysics
  • Far Infrared Radiation
  • Galactic Radiation
  • Infrared Sources (Astronomy)
  • Luminosity
  • Sky Surveys (Astronomy)
  • Astronomical Catalogs
  • Infrared Astronomy Satellite
  • Maximum Likelihood Estimates
  • Red Shift


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