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Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof Cedric Lacey

Wang, L., Norberg, P., Gunawardhana, M. L. P., Heinis, S., Baldry, I. K., Bland-Hawthorn, J., Bourne, N., Brough, S., Brown, M. J. I., Cluver, M. E., Cooray, A., da Cunha, E., Driver, S. P., Dunne, L., Dye, S., Eales, S., Grootes, M. W., Holwerda, B. W., Hopkins, A. M., Ibar, E., Ivison, R., Lacey, C., Lara-Lopez, M. A., Loveday, J., Maddox, S. J., Michałowski, M. J., Oteo, I., Owers, M. S., Popescu, C. C., Smith, D. J. B., Taylor, E. N., Tuffs, R. J. & van der Werf, P. (2016). GAMA/H-ATLAS: common star formation rate indicators and their dependence on galaxy physical parameters. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 461(2): 1898-1916.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

We compare common star formation rate (SFR) indicators in the local Universe in the Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA) equatorial fields (∼160 deg2), using ultraviolet (UV) photometry from GALEX, far-infrared and sub-millimetre (sub-mm) photometry from Herschel Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey, and Hα spectroscopy from the GAMA survey. With a high-quality sample of 745 galaxies (median redshift 〈z〉 = 0.08), we consider three SFR tracers: UV luminosity corrected for dust attenuation using the UV spectral slope β (SFRUV, corr), Hα line luminosity corrected for dust using the Balmer decrement (BD) (SFRH α, corr), and the combination of UV and infrared (IR) emission (SFRUV + IR). We demonstrate that SFRUV, corr can be reconciled with the other two tracers after applying attenuation corrections by calibrating Infrared excess (IRX; i.e. the IR to UV luminosity ratio) and attenuation in the Hα (derived from BD) against β. However, β, on its own, is very unlikely to be a reliable attenuation indicator. We find that attenuation correction factors depend on parameters such as stellar mass (M*), z and dust temperature (Tdust), but not on Hα equivalent width or Sérsic index. Due to the large scatter in the IRX versus β correlation, when compared to SFRUV + IR, the β-corrected SFRUV, corr exhibits systematic deviations as a function of IRX, BD and Tdust.