GAMA/H-ATLAS: Common star formation rate indicators and their dependence on galaxy physical parameters

L. Wang, P. Norberg, M.L.P. Gunawardhana, S. Heinis, I.K. Baldry, J. Bland-Hawthorn, N. Bourne, S. Brough, M.J.I. Brown, M.E. Cluver, A. Cooray, E. Da Cunha, S. P. Driver, L. Dunne, S. Dye, S. Eales, M.W. Grootes, B.W. Holwerda, A.M. Hopkins, E. IbarR. Ivison, C. Lacey, M.A. Lara-Lopez, J. Loveday, S.J. Maddox, M.J. Michałowski, I. Oteo, M.S. Owers, C.C. Popescu, D.J.B. Smith, E.N. Taylor, R.J. Tuffs, P. Van Der Werf

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Abstract

© 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. 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 Ha spectroscopy from the GAMA survey. With a high-quality sample of 745 galaxies (median redshift = 0.08), we consider three SFR tracers: UV luminosity corrected for dust attenuation using the UV spectral slope ß (SFRUV, corr), Ha line luminosity corrected for dust using the Balmer decrement (BD) (SFRHa, 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 Ha (derived from BD) against ß. However, ß, 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 Ha equivalent width or Sérsic index. Due to the large scatter in the IRX versus ß correlation, when compared to SFRUV + IR, the ß-corrected SFRUV, corr exhibits systematic deviations as a function of IRX, BD and Tdust.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1898-1916
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume461
Issue number2
Early online date20 Jun 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2016

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