Measures of star formation rates from infrared (Herschel) and UV (GALEX) emissions of galaxies in the HerMES fields

V. Buat, E. Giovannoli, D. Burgarella, B. Altieri, A. Amblard, V. Arumugam, H. Aussel, T. Babbedge, A. Blain, J. Bock, A. Boselli, N. Castro-Rodríguez, A. Cava, P. Chanial, D. L. Clements, A. Conley, L. Conversi, A. Cooray, C. D. Dowell, E. DwekS. Eales, D. Elbaz, M. Fox, A. Franceschini, W. Gear, J. Glenn, M. Griffin, M. Halpern, E. Hatziminaoglou, S. Heinis, E. Ibar, K. Isaak, R. J. Ivison, G. Lagache, L. Levenson, C. J. Lonsdale, N. Lu, S. Madden, B. Maffei, G. Magdis, G. Mainetti, L. Marchetti, G. E. Morrison, H. T. Nguyen, B. O'Halloran, S. J. Oliver, A. A. Omont, F. N. Owen, M. J. Page, M. Pannella, P. Panuzzo, A. Papageorgiou, C. P. Pearson, I. Pérez-Fournon, M. Pohlen, D. Rigopoulou, D. Rizzo, I. G. Roseboom, M. Rowan-Robinson, M. Sánchez Portal, B. Schulz, N. Seymour, D. L. Shupe, A. J. Smith, J. A. Stevens, V. Strazzullo, M. Symeonidis, M. Trichas, K. E. Tugwell, M. Vaccari, E. Valiante, I. Valtchanov, L. Vigroux, L. Wang, R. Ward, G. Wright, C. K. Xu, M. Zemcov

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The reliability of infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) emissions to measure star formation rates (SFRs) in galaxies is investigated for a large sample of galaxies observed with the Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE) and the Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS) instruments on Herschel as part of the Herschel Multi-Tiered Extragalactic Survey (HerMES) project. We build flux-limited 250-jj.m samples of sources at redshift z <1, crossmatched with the Spitzer/MIPS and GALEX catalogues. About 60 per cent of the Herschel sources are detected in UV. The total IR luminosities, LIR, of the sources are estimated using a spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting code that fits to fluxes between 24 and 500 μm. Dust attenuation is discussed on the basis of commonly used diagnostics: the LIR/LUV ratio and the slope, β, of the UV continuum. A mean dust attenuation AUV of ≃3 mag is measured in the samples. LIR/LUV LIR. Galaxies with LIR > 1011 L⊙ and 0.5 <z <1 exhibit a mean dust attenuation AUV of about 0.7 mag lower than that found for their local counterparts, although with a large dispersion. Our galaxy samples span a large range of β and LIR/LUV values which, for the most part, are distributed between the ranges defined by the relations found locally for starburst and normal star-forming galaxies. As a consequence the recipe commonly applied to local starbursts is found to overestimate the dust attenuation correction in our galaxy sample by a factor of ~2-3. The SFRs deduced from LIR are found to account for about 90 per cent of the total SFR; this percentage drops to 71 per cent for galaxies with SFR <1 M⊙ yr-1 (or LIR <1010L⊙). For these faint objects, one needs to combine UV and IR emissions to obtain an accurate measure of the SFR. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 RAS.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)-L6
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


    • Galaxies: evolution
    • Galaxies: stellar content
    • Infrared: galaxies
    • Ultraviolet: galaxies


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