Investigating the presence of 500 μm submillimeter excess emission in local star forming galaxies

Allison Kirkpatrick, Daniela Calzetti, Maud Galametz, Rob Kennicutt, Daniel Dale, Gonzalo Aniano, Karin Sandstrom, Lee Armus, Alison Crocker, Joannah Hinz, Leslie Hunt, Jin Koda, Fabian Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Submillimeter excess emission has been reported at 500 μm in a handful of local galaxies, and previous studies suggest that it could be correlated with metal abundance. We investigate the presence of an excess submillimeter emission at 500 μm for a sample of 20 galaxies from the Key Insights on Nearby Galaxies: a Far Infrared Survey with Herschel (KINGFISH) that span a range of morphologies and metallicities (12 + log (O/H) = 7.8-8.7). We probe the far-infrared (IR) emission using images from the Spitzer Space Telescope and Herschel Space Observatory in the wavelength range 24-500 μm. We model the far-IR peak of the dust emission with a two-temperature modified blackbody and measure excess of the 500 μm photometry relative to that predicted by our model. We compare the submillimeter excess, where present, with global galaxy metallicity and, where available, resolved metallicity measurements. We do not find any correlation between the 500 μm excess and metallicity. A few individual sources do show excess (10%-20%) at 500 μm; conversely, for other sources, the model overpredicts the measured 500 μm flux density by as much as 20%, creating a 500 μm "deficit." None of our sources has an excess larger than the calculated 1σ uncertainty, leading us to conclude that there is no substantial excess at submillimeter wavelengths at or shorter than 500 μm in our sample. Our results differ from previous studies detecting 500 μm excess in KINGFISH galaxies largely due to new, improved photometry used in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number51
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 20 2013


  • dust, extinction
  • galaxies: ISM
  • galaxies: abundances
  • galaxies: dwarf
  • galaxies: photometry
  • infrared: ISM
  • submillimeter: ISM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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