Spatially resolved imaging at 350 µm of cold dust in nearby elliptical galaxies

L.L. Leeuw, Jacqueline Davidson, C.D. Dowell, H.E. Matthews

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)
    237 Downloads (Pure)


    Continuum observations at 350 μm of seven nearby elliptical galaxies for which CO gas disks have recently been resolved with interferometry mapping are presented. These SHARC II mapping results provide the first clearly resolved far-infrared (FIR)-to-submillimeter continuum emission from cold dust (with temperatures 31 K gtrsim Tgtrsim 23 K ) of any elliptical galaxy at a distance >40 Mpc. The measured FIR excess shows that the most likely and dominant heating source of this dust is not dilute stellar radiation or cooling flows, but rather star formation that could have been triggered by an accretion or merger event and fueled by dust-rich material that has settled in a dense region cospatial with the central CO gas disks. The dust is detected even in two cluster ellipticals that are deficient in H I, showing that, unlike H I, cold dust and CO in ellipticals can survive in the presence of hot X-ray gas, even in galaxy clusters. No dust cooler than 20 K, either distributed outside the CO disks or cospatial with and heated by the entire dilute stellar optical galaxy (or very extended H I), is currently evident.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)249-261
    JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    Dive into the research topics of 'Spatially resolved imaging at 350 µm of cold dust in nearby elliptical galaxies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this