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Paper: Dust in Spiral Disks: Opacity Profiles from FIR Emission and Counts of Distant Galaxies
Volume: 381, The Second Annual Spitzer Science Center Conference: Infrared Diagnostics of Galaxy Evolution
Page: 76
Authors: Holwerda, B.W.; González, R.A.; Calzetti, D.; Allen, R.J.; van der Kruit, P.C.; the SINGS team
Abstract: Dust emission in the far-infrared (FIR) characterizes the temperature and quantity of interstellar dust in a spiral disk. The three Spitzer/MIPS bands are well suited to measuring the gradient in temperature and the total optical depth in the disk of a spiral galaxy. Another way to estimate the quantity of dust in a spiral disk is the “Synthetic Field Method” (SFM, González et al. 1998), which uses the number of distant field galaxies seen through the disk of the nearby spiral. The optical depth estimated from this method can be compared to the values derived from the FIR emission. Since the two techniques depend on different assumptions regarding the dust geometry and emissivity, this comparison between the optical depth profiles can potentially shed light on the structure and quantity of the ISM in spiral disks, especially any colder components. The dust responsible for the opacity from distant galaxy counts appears to be predominantly cold (T ≤ 20 K.). The differences between the radial absorption profiles can be explained by spiral arms in the SFM measurements. Taken over the same aperture, galaxy counts show higher extinction values than the FIR derived ones. The implications for dust geometry can hopefully be explored with a more rigorous estimate of dust mass from the FIR fluxes.
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