Spatially resolved dust emission of extremely metal-poor galaxies*

May 2016 • 2016MNRAS.458..772Z

Authors • Zhou, Luwenjia • Shi, Yong • Diaz-Santos, Taino • Armus, Lee • Helou, George • Stierwalt, Sabrina • Li, Aigen

Abstract • We present infrared (IR) spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of individual star-forming regions in four extremely metal-poor (EMP) galaxies with metallicity Z ≲ Z/10 as observed by the Herschel Space Observatory. With the good wavelength coverage of the SED, it is found that these EMP star-forming regions show distinct SED shapes as compared to those of grand design Spirals and higher metallicity dwarfs: they have on average much higher f70μm/f160 μm ratios at a given f160 μm/f250 μm ratio; single modified blackbody (MBB) fittings to the SED at λ ≥ 100 μm still reveal higher dust temperatures and lower emissivity indices compared to that of Spirals, while two MBB fittings to the full SED with a fixed emissivity index (β = 2) show that even at 100 μm, about half of the emission comes from warm (50 K) dust, in contrast to the cold (∼20 K) dust component. Our spatially resolved images furthermore reveal that the far-IR colours including f70 μm/f160 μm, f160 μm/f250 μm and f250 μm/f350 μm are all related to the surface densities of young stars as traced by far-UV, 24 μm and star formation rates (SFRs), but not to the stellar mass surface densities. This suggests that the dust emitting at wavelengths from 70 to 350 μm is primarily heated by radiation from young stars.


IPAC Authors


Lee Armus

Senior Scientist

George Helou

IPAC Executive Director