Mapping the cold dust temperatures and masses of nearby KINGFISH galaxies withHerschel Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • Taking advantage of the sensitivity and angular resolution of the Herschel Space Observatory at far-infrared and submm wavelengths, we aim to characterize the physical properties of cold dust within nearby galaxies and study the robustness of the parameters we derive using different modified blackbody models. For a pilot subsample of the KINGFISH program, we perform 2 temperature fits of the Spitzer and Herschel photometric data (24 to 500um), with a warm and a cold component, globally and in each resolution element.At global scales, we observe ranges of values for beta_c(0.8 to 2.5) and Tc(19.1 to 25.1K).We compute maps of our parameters with beta fixed or free to test the robustness of the temperature and dust surface density maps we deduce. When the emissivity is fixed, we observe temperature gradients as a function of radius.When the emissivity is fitted as a free parameter, barred galaxies tend to have uniform fitted emissivities.Gathering resolved elements in a Tc-beta_c diagram underlines an anti-correlation between the two parameters.It remains difficult to assess whether the dominant effect is the physics of dust grains, noise, or mixing along the line of sight and in the beam. We finally observe in both cases that the dust column density peaks in central regions of galaxies and bar ends (coinciding with molecular gas density enhancements usually found in these locations).We also quantify how the total dust mass varies with our assumptions about the emissivity index as well as the influence of the wavelength coverage used in the fits. We show that modified blackbody fits using a shallow emissivity (beta_c < 2.0) lead to significantly lower dust masses compared to the beta_c < 2.0 case, with dust masses lower by up to 50% if beta_c=1.5 for instance.The working resolution affects our total dust mass estimates: masses increase from global fits to spatially-resolved fits.


  • Galametz, M
  • Kennicutt, RC
  • Albrecht, M
  • Aniano, G
  • Armus, L
  • Bertoldi, F
  • Calzetti, D
  • Crocker, AF
  • Croxall, KV
  • Dale, DA
  • Donovan Meyer, J
  • Draine, BT
  • Engelbracht, CW
  • Hinz, JL
  • Roussel, H
  • Skibba, RA
  • Tabatabaei, FS
  • Walter, F
  • Weiss, A
  • Wilson, Christine D
  • Wolfire, MG

publication date

  • September 1, 2012