New constraints on the star formation histories and dust attenuation of galaxies in the local universe from GALEX

Samir Salim, Stéphane Charlot, R. Michael Rich, Guinevere Kauffmann, Timothy M. Heckman, Tom A. Barlow, Luciana Bianchi, Yong-Ik Byun, Jose Donas, Karl Forster, Peter G. Friedman, Patrick N. Jelinsky, Young-Wook Lee, Barry F. Madore, Roger F. Malina, D. Christopher Martin, Bruno Milliard, Patrick Morrissey, Susan G. Neff, David Schiminovich & 6 others Mark Seibert, Oswald H.W. Siegmund, Todd Small, Alex S. Szalay, Barry Y. Welsh, Ted K. Wyder

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Abstract

We derive a variety of physical parameters including star formation rates (SFRs), dust attenuation, and burst mass fractions for 6472 galaxies observed by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) and present in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 1 (SDSS DR1) main spectroscopic sample. Parameters are estimated in a statistical way by comparing each observed broadband spectral energy distribution (SED) (two GALEX and five SDSS bands) with an extensive library of model galaxy SEDs, which cover a wide range of star formation histories and include stochastic starbursts. We compare the constraints derived using SDSS bands only with those derived using the combination of SDSS and GALEX photometry. We find that the addition of the GALEX bands leads to significant improvement in the estimation of both the dust optical depth and the star formation rate over timescales of 100 Myr to 1 Gyr in a galaxy. We attain sensitivity to SFRs as low as 10-3 M yr -1, and we find that low levels of star formation (SF) are mostly associated with early-type, red galaxies. The least massive galaxies have ratios of current to past-averaged SF rates (b-parameter) consistent with constant SF over a Hubble time. For late-type galaxies, this ratio on average decreases with mass. We find that b correlates tightly with NUV - r color, implying that the SF history of a galaxy can be constrained on the basis of the NUV - r color alone. The fraction of galaxies that have undergone a significant starburst episode within the last 1 Gyr steeply declines with mass, from ∼20% for galaxies with ∼108 M to ∼5% for ∼1011 M galaxies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume619
Issue number1 II
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jan 20

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star formation
universe
dust
attenuation
histories
galaxies
history
star formation rate
optical depth
timescale
rate
energy
parameter
color
spectral energy distribution
optical thickness
photometry
bursts
broadband

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Salim, S., Charlot, S., Rich, R. M., Kauffmann, G., Heckman, T. M., Barlow, T. A., ... Wyder, T. K. (2005). New constraints on the star formation histories and dust attenuation of galaxies in the local universe from GALEX. Astrophysical Journal, 619(1 II). https://doi.org/10.1086/424800
Salim, Samir ; Charlot, Stéphane ; Rich, R. Michael ; Kauffmann, Guinevere ; Heckman, Timothy M. ; Barlow, Tom A. ; Bianchi, Luciana ; Byun, Yong-Ik ; Donas, Jose ; Forster, Karl ; Friedman, Peter G. ; Jelinsky, Patrick N. ; Lee, Young-Wook ; Madore, Barry F. ; Malina, Roger F. ; Martin, D. Christopher ; Milliard, Bruno ; Morrissey, Patrick ; Neff, Susan G. ; Schiminovich, David ; Seibert, Mark ; Siegmund, Oswald H.W. ; Small, Todd ; Szalay, Alex S. ; Welsh, Barry Y. ; Wyder, Ted K. / New constraints on the star formation histories and dust attenuation of galaxies in the local universe from GALEX. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2005 ; Vol. 619, No. 1 II.
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abstract = "We derive a variety of physical parameters including star formation rates (SFRs), dust attenuation, and burst mass fractions for 6472 galaxies observed by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) and present in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 1 (SDSS DR1) main spectroscopic sample. Parameters are estimated in a statistical way by comparing each observed broadband spectral energy distribution (SED) (two GALEX and five SDSS bands) with an extensive library of model galaxy SEDs, which cover a wide range of star formation histories and include stochastic starbursts. We compare the constraints derived using SDSS bands only with those derived using the combination of SDSS and GALEX photometry. We find that the addition of the GALEX bands leads to significant improvement in the estimation of both the dust optical depth and the star formation rate over timescales of 100 Myr to 1 Gyr in a galaxy. We attain sensitivity to SFRs as low as 10-3 M⊙ yr -1, and we find that low levels of star formation (SF) are mostly associated with early-type, red galaxies. The least massive galaxies have ratios of current to past-averaged SF rates (b-parameter) consistent with constant SF over a Hubble time. For late-type galaxies, this ratio on average decreases with mass. We find that b correlates tightly with NUV - r color, implying that the SF history of a galaxy can be constrained on the basis of the NUV - r color alone. The fraction of galaxies that have undergone a significant starburst episode within the last 1 Gyr steeply declines with mass, from ∼20{\%} for galaxies with ∼108 M⊙ to ∼5{\%} for ∼1011 M⊙ galaxies.",
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Salim, S, Charlot, S, Rich, RM, Kauffmann, G, Heckman, TM, Barlow, TA, Bianchi, L, Byun, Y-I, Donas, J, Forster, K, Friedman, PG, Jelinsky, PN, Lee, Y-W, Madore, BF, Malina, RF, Martin, DC, Milliard, B, Morrissey, P, Neff, SG, Schiminovich, D, Seibert, M, Siegmund, OHW, Small, T, Szalay, AS, Welsh, BY & Wyder, TK 2005, 'New constraints on the star formation histories and dust attenuation of galaxies in the local universe from GALEX', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 619, no. 1 II. https://doi.org/10.1086/424800

New constraints on the star formation histories and dust attenuation of galaxies in the local universe from GALEX. / Salim, Samir; Charlot, Stéphane; Rich, R. Michael; Kauffmann, Guinevere; Heckman, Timothy M.; Barlow, Tom A.; Bianchi, Luciana; Byun, Yong-Ik; Donas, Jose; Forster, Karl; Friedman, Peter G.; Jelinsky, Patrick N.; Lee, Young-Wook; Madore, Barry F.; Malina, Roger F.; Martin, D. Christopher; Milliard, Bruno; Morrissey, Patrick; Neff, Susan G.; Schiminovich, David; Seibert, Mark; Siegmund, Oswald H.W.; Small, Todd; Szalay, Alex S.; Welsh, Barry Y.; Wyder, Ted K.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 619, No. 1 II, 20.01.2005.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - New constraints on the star formation histories and dust attenuation of galaxies in the local universe from GALEX

AU - Salim, Samir

AU - Charlot, Stéphane

AU - Rich, R. Michael

AU - Kauffmann, Guinevere

AU - Heckman, Timothy M.

AU - Barlow, Tom A.

AU - Bianchi, Luciana

AU - Byun, Yong-Ik

AU - Donas, Jose

AU - Forster, Karl

AU - Friedman, Peter G.

AU - Jelinsky, Patrick N.

AU - Lee, Young-Wook

AU - Madore, Barry F.

AU - Malina, Roger F.

AU - Martin, D. Christopher

AU - Milliard, Bruno

AU - Morrissey, Patrick

AU - Neff, Susan G.

AU - Schiminovich, David

AU - Seibert, Mark

AU - Siegmund, Oswald H.W.

AU - Small, Todd

AU - Szalay, Alex S.

AU - Welsh, Barry Y.

AU - Wyder, Ted K.

PY - 2005/1/20

Y1 - 2005/1/20

N2 - We derive a variety of physical parameters including star formation rates (SFRs), dust attenuation, and burst mass fractions for 6472 galaxies observed by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) and present in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 1 (SDSS DR1) main spectroscopic sample. Parameters are estimated in a statistical way by comparing each observed broadband spectral energy distribution (SED) (two GALEX and five SDSS bands) with an extensive library of model galaxy SEDs, which cover a wide range of star formation histories and include stochastic starbursts. We compare the constraints derived using SDSS bands only with those derived using the combination of SDSS and GALEX photometry. We find that the addition of the GALEX bands leads to significant improvement in the estimation of both the dust optical depth and the star formation rate over timescales of 100 Myr to 1 Gyr in a galaxy. We attain sensitivity to SFRs as low as 10-3 M⊙ yr -1, and we find that low levels of star formation (SF) are mostly associated with early-type, red galaxies. The least massive galaxies have ratios of current to past-averaged SF rates (b-parameter) consistent with constant SF over a Hubble time. For late-type galaxies, this ratio on average decreases with mass. We find that b correlates tightly with NUV - r color, implying that the SF history of a galaxy can be constrained on the basis of the NUV - r color alone. The fraction of galaxies that have undergone a significant starburst episode within the last 1 Gyr steeply declines with mass, from ∼20% for galaxies with ∼108 M⊙ to ∼5% for ∼1011 M⊙ galaxies.

AB - We derive a variety of physical parameters including star formation rates (SFRs), dust attenuation, and burst mass fractions for 6472 galaxies observed by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) and present in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 1 (SDSS DR1) main spectroscopic sample. Parameters are estimated in a statistical way by comparing each observed broadband spectral energy distribution (SED) (two GALEX and five SDSS bands) with an extensive library of model galaxy SEDs, which cover a wide range of star formation histories and include stochastic starbursts. We compare the constraints derived using SDSS bands only with those derived using the combination of SDSS and GALEX photometry. We find that the addition of the GALEX bands leads to significant improvement in the estimation of both the dust optical depth and the star formation rate over timescales of 100 Myr to 1 Gyr in a galaxy. We attain sensitivity to SFRs as low as 10-3 M⊙ yr -1, and we find that low levels of star formation (SF) are mostly associated with early-type, red galaxies. The least massive galaxies have ratios of current to past-averaged SF rates (b-parameter) consistent with constant SF over a Hubble time. For late-type galaxies, this ratio on average decreases with mass. We find that b correlates tightly with NUV - r color, implying that the SF history of a galaxy can be constrained on the basis of the NUV - r color alone. The fraction of galaxies that have undergone a significant starburst episode within the last 1 Gyr steeply declines with mass, from ∼20% for galaxies with ∼108 M⊙ to ∼5% for ∼1011 M⊙ galaxies.

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