Journal Article

Dust reddening in star-forming galaxies

Ting Xiao, Tinggui Wang, Huiyuan Wang, Hongyan Zhou, Honglin Lu and Xiaobo Dong

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 421, issue 1, pages 486-501
Published in print March 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online March 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.20327.x
Dust reddening in star-forming galaxies

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We present empirical relations between the global dust reddening and other physical galaxy properties including the Hα luminosity, Hα surface brightness, metallicity and axial ratio for star-forming disc galaxies. The study is based on a large sample of ∼22 000 well-defined star-forming galaxies selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The reddening parametrized by colour excess E(BV) is derived from the Balmer decrement. Besides the dependency of reddening on Hα luminosity/surface brightness and gas phase metallicity, it is also correlated with the galaxy inclination, in the sense that edge-on galaxies are more attenuated than face-on galaxies at a given intrinsic luminosity. In light of these correlations, we present the empirical formulae of E(BV) as a function of these galaxy properties, with a scatter of only 0.07 mag. The empirical relations can be reproduced if most dust attenuation to the H ii region is due to diffuse interstellar dust distribution in a disc thicker than that of the H ii region. The empirical formulae can be incorporated into semi-analytical models of galaxy formation and evolution to estimate the dust reddening and more practically enable comparison with observations.

Keywords: dust, extinction; H ii regions; galaxies: abundances; galaxies: ISM

Journal Article.  13415 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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