Dissecting Galaxy colors with Galex, SDSS, and Spitzer

B. D. Johnson, D. Schiminovich, M. Seibert, M. A. Treyer, S. Charlot, T. M. Heckman, D. C. Martin, S. Salim, G. Kauffmann, L. Bianchi, J. Donas, P. G. Friedman, Y. W. Lee, B. F. Madore, B. Milliard, P. Morrissey, S. G. Neff, R. M. Rich, A. S. Szalay, K. ForsterT. A. Barlow, T. Conrow, T. Small, T. K. Wyder

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We combine data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), and the Spitzer Space Telescope to create a sample of galaxies observed homogeneously from the UV to the far-IR. This sample, consisting of ∼460 galaxies observed spectroscopically by the SDSS, provides us with a multiwavelength (0.15-24 mm) view of obscured and unobscured star formation in nearby (z ≤ 0.3) galaxies with star formation rates (SFRs) ranging from 0.01 to 100 M·yr-1. We calculate a robust dust measure from the infraredto-UV ratio (or infrared excess [IRX]) and explore the influence of star formation history (SFH) on the dust-UV color relation (i.e., the IRX-β relation). We find that the UV colors of galaxies are only weakly dependent on their SFH as measured by the 4000 break. However, we find that the contributions of dust and SFH are distinguishable when colors at widely separated wavelengths (e.g., 0.23-3.6 mm) are introduced. We show this explicitly by recasting the IRX-b relation as a more general IRX-SFH-color relation, which we examine in different projections. We also determine simple fits to this relation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L109-L112
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jun 20

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Johnson, B. D., Schiminovich, D., Seibert, M., Treyer, M. A., Charlot, S., Heckman, T. M., Martin, D. C., Salim, S., Kauffmann, G., Bianchi, L., Donas, J., Friedman, P. G., Lee, Y. W., Madore, B. F., Milliard, B., Morrissey, P., Neff, S. G., Rich, R. M., Szalay, A. S., ... Wyder, T. K. (2006). Dissecting Galaxy colors with Galex, SDSS, and Spitzer. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 644(2), L109-L112. https://doi.org/10.1086/505741