Calibration of hybrid resolved star formation rate recipes based on PHANGS- MUSE H α and H β maps

Francesco Belfiore, Adam K. Leroy, Jiayi Sun, Ashley T. Barnes, Médéric Boquien, Yixian Cao, Enrico Congiu, Daniel A. Dale, Oleg V. Egorov, Cosima Eibensteiner, Simon C.O. Glover, Kathryn Grasha, Brent Groves, Ralf S. Klessen, Kathryn Kreckel, Lukas Neumann, Miguel Querejeta, Patricia Sanchez-Blazquez, Eva Schinnerer, Thomas G. Williams

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Mapping star-formation rates (SFR) within galaxies is key to unveiling their assembly and evolution. Calibrations exist for computing the SFR from a combination of ultraviolet and infrared bands for galaxies as integrated systems, but their applicability to sub-galactic (kiloparsec) scales remains largely untested. We used integral field spectroscopy of 19 nearby (D < 20 Mpc) galaxies obtained by PHANGS- MUSE to derive accurate Balmer decrements (Hα/Hβ) and attenuation-corrected Hα maps. We combined this information with mid-infrared maps from WISE at 22 μm and ultraviolet maps from GALEX in the far-UV band to derive SFR surface densities in nearby galaxies on resolved (kiloparsec) scales. Using the Hα attenuation-corrected SFR as a reference, we find that hybrid recipes from the literature overestimate the SFR in regions of low SFR surface density, low specific star-formation rate (sSFR), low attenuation, and old stellar ages. We attribute these trends to heating of the dust by old stellar populations (IR cirrus). We calibrated this effect by proposing functional forms for the coefficients in front of the IR term that depend on band ratios sensitive to the sSFR. These recipes return SFR estimates that agree with those in the literature at high sSFR (log(sSFR/yr- 1) > - 9.9). Moreover, they lead to negligible bias and < 0.16 dex scatter when compared to our reference attenuation-corrected SFR from Hα. These calibrations prove reliable as a function of physical scale. In particular, they agree within 10% with the attenuation corrections computed from the Balmer decrement on 100 pc scales. Despite small quantitative differences, our calibrations are also applicable to integrated galaxy scales probed by the MaNGA survey, but with a larger scatter (up to 0.22 dex). Observations with JWST open up the possibility to calibrate these relations in nearby galaxies with cloud-scale (aà  ¼100 pc) resolution mid-IR imaging.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA67
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023


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