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Dust reddening in star-forming galaxies

Authors

  • Ting Xiao,

    Corresponding author
    1. Key Laboratory for Research in Galaxies and Cosmology, Department of Astronomy, University of Science & Technology of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, Anhui 230026, China
      E-mail: xiaoting@mail.ustc.edu.cn (TX); twang@ustc.edu.cn (TW)
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  • Tinggui Wang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Key Laboratory for Research in Galaxies and Cosmology, Department of Astronomy, University of Science & Technology of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, Anhui 230026, China
      E-mail: xiaoting@mail.ustc.edu.cn (TX); twang@ustc.edu.cn (TW)
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  • Huiyuan Wang,

    1. Key Laboratory for Research in Galaxies and Cosmology, Department of Astronomy, University of Science & Technology of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, Anhui 230026, China
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  • Hongyan Zhou,

    1. Key Laboratory for Research in Galaxies and Cosmology, Department of Astronomy, University of Science & Technology of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, Anhui 230026, China
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  • Honglin Lu,

    1. Key Laboratory for Research in Galaxies and Cosmology, Department of Astronomy, University of Science & Technology of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, Anhui 230026, China
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  • Xiaobo Dong

    1. Key Laboratory for Research in Galaxies and Cosmology, Department of Astronomy, University of Science & Technology of China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, Anhui 230026, China
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E-mail: xiaoting@mail.ustc.edu.cn (TX); twang@ustc.edu.cn (TW)

ABSTRACT

We present empirical relations between the global dust reddening and other physical galaxy properties including the Hα luminosity, Hα surface brightness, metallicity and axial ratio for star-forming disc galaxies. The study is based on a large sample of ∼22 000 well-defined star-forming galaxies selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The reddening parametrized by colour excess E(BV) is derived from the Balmer decrement. Besides the dependency of reddening on Hα luminosity/surface brightness and gas phase metallicity, it is also correlated with the galaxy inclination, in the sense that edge-on galaxies are more attenuated than face-on galaxies at a given intrinsic luminosity. In light of these correlations, we present the empirical formulae of E(BV) as a function of these galaxy properties, with a scatter of only 0.07 mag. The empirical relations can be reproduced if most dust attenuation to the H ii region is due to diffuse interstellar dust distribution in a disc thicker than that of the H ii region. The empirical formulae can be incorporated into semi-analytical models of galaxy formation and evolution to estimate the dust reddening and more practically enable comparison with observations.

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