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Title: The Herschel perspective on nearby galaxies
Author: Smith, Matthew William Langford
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 1812
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis presents an investigation of local galaxies using new data from the Herschel Space Observatory. Herschel observes the entire far-infrared peak of galaxies, at higher sensitivities and angular resolution than previously possible, and can observe large samples of galaxies or areas of sky. I developed data reduction routines to optimise the data processing of SPIRE extragalactic fields, and found the best methods of flux extraction for galaxies and for fitting of spectral energy distributions. For all the objects I investigated, a single-temperature modified blackbody was a good fit to the global fluxes between 100–500 μm. Within an individual galaxy (i.e., M31, NGC4501 and NGC4567/8) the dust temperature varies between 15–30K. In M31 the dust emissivity index varies between 1.2–2.5 suggesting a change in the physical properties of the grains. The dust and gas are highly correlated in M31, with the gas-to-dust ratio varying from ∼20 in the centre to ∼200 at 18 kpc as expected from the metallicity gradient of the galaxy. By averaging the radial profiles of the late-type objects in the Herschel Reference Survey (HRS), I have shown that dust emission can be traced to at least twice the optical radius (R25) of the galaxy. Within the HRS, dust is detected in 24% of Ellipticals and 62% of S0s and has a mean temperature of 23.9 ± 0.8K for early-type galaxies, warmer than that found for other Herschel studies of late-type galaxies. The mean dust mass for the entire detected early-type sample is logMd = 6.1 ± 0.1M⊙ with a mean dust-to-stellar-mass ratio of log(Md/M∗) = −4.3 ± 0.1, a factor of ∼50 lower dust-to-stellar-mass ratio than for the spiral galaxies in the HRS. The wide range in the dust-to-stellar-mass ratio for ETGs and the lack of a correlation between dust mass and optical luminosity suggest that much of the dust in the ETGs detected by Herschel has been acquired as the result of interactions, although these are unlikely to have had a major effect on the stellar masses of the ETGs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QB Astronomy