The Local [C II] 158 μm Emission Line Luminosity Function

January 2017 • 2017ApJ...834...36H

Authors • Hemmati, Shoubaneh • Yan, Lin • Diaz-Santos, Tanio • Armus, Lee • Capak, Peter • Faisst, Andreas • Masters, Daniel

Abstract • We present, for the first time, the local [C II] 158 μm emission line luminosity function measured using a sample of more than 500 galaxies from the Revised Bright Galaxy Sample. [C II] luminosities are measured from the Herschel PACS observations of the Luminous Infrared Galaxies (LIRGs) in the Great Observatories All-sky LIRG Survey and estimated for the rest of the sample based on the far-infrared (far-IR) luminosity and color. The sample covers 91.3% of the sky and is complete at S60 μm > 5.24 Jy. We calculate the completeness as a function of [C II] line luminosity and distance, based on the far-IR color and flux densities. The [C II] luminosity function is constrained in the range ∼107-9 L from both the 1/Vmax and a maximum likelihood methods. The shape of our derived [C II] emission line luminosity function agrees well with the IR luminosity function. For the CO(1-0) and [C II] luminosity functions to agree, we propose a varying ratio of [C II]/CO(1-0) as a function of CO luminosity, with larger ratios for fainter CO luminosities. Limited [C II] high-redshift observations as well as estimates based on the IR and UV luminosity functions are suggestive of an evolution in the [C II] luminosity function similar to the evolution trend of the cosmic star formation rate density. Deep surveys using the Atacama Large Millimeter Array with full capability will be able to confirm this prediction.


IPAC Authors


Lee Armus

Senior Scientist


Andreas Faisst

Assistant Scientist


Elise Furlan

Associate Scientist


Shoubaneh Hemmati

Assistant Scientist

Daniel Masters

Assistant Scientist