Journal Article

The local far-infrared galaxy colour–luminosity distribution: a reference for BLAST and <i>Herschel</i>/SPIRE submillimetre surveys

E. L. Chapin, D. H. Hughes and I. Aretxaga

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 393, issue 2, pages 653-662
Published in print February 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online February 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.14242.x
The local far-infrared galaxy colour–luminosity distribution: a reference for BLAST and Herschel/SPIRE submillimetre surveys

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We measure the local galaxy far-infrared (FIR) 60 to 100 μm colour–luminosity distribution using an all-sky IRAS survey. This distribution is an important reference for the next generation of FIR–submillimetre surveys that have and will conduct deep extragalactic surveys at 250–500 μm. With the peak in dust-obscured star-forming activity leading to present-day giant ellipticals now believed to occur in submillimetre galaxies near z∼ 2.5, these new FIR–submillimetre surveys will directly sample the spectral energy distributions of these distant objects at rest-frame FIR wavelengths similar to those at which local galaxies were observed by IRAS. We have taken care to correct for the temperature bias and the evolution effects in our IRAS 60-μm-selected sample. We verify that our colour–luminosity distribution is consistent with the measurements of the local FIR luminosity function, before applying it to the higher redshift Universe. We compare our colour–luminosity correlation with recent dust–temperature measurements of submillimetre galaxies and find evidence for pure luminosity evolution of the form (1 +z)3. This distribution will be useful for the development of evolutionary models for Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (BLAST) and Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE) surveys as it provides a statistical distribution of the rest-frame dust temperatures for galaxies as a function of luminosity.

Keywords: galaxies: evolution; galaxies: high-redshift; galaxies: luminosity function, mass function; infrared: galaxies; submillimetre

Journal Article.  7999 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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