Mapping far-IR emission from the central kiloparsec of NGC 1097

Mapping far-IR emission from the central kiloparsec of NGC 1097,10.1051/0004-6361/201014583,Astronomy & Astrophysics,K. Sandstrom,O. Krause,H. Linz,E.

Mapping far-IR emission from the central kiloparsec of NGC 1097   (Citations: 2)
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K. Sandstrom, O. Krause, H. Linz, E. Schinnerer, G. Dumas, S. Meidt, H.-W. Rix, M. Sauvage, F. Walter, R. C. Kennicutt, D. Calzetti, P. Appleton
Using photometry of NGC 1097 from the Herschel PACS (Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer) instrument, we study the resolved properties of thermal dust continuum emission from a circumnuclear starburst ring with a radius ~900 pc. These observations are the first to resolve the structure of a circumnuclear ring at wavelengths that probe the peak (i.e. lambda ~ 100 mum) of the dust spectral energy distribution. The ring dominates the far-infrared (far-IR) emission from the galaxy - the high angular resolution of PACS allows us to isolate the ring's contribution and we find it is responsible for 75, 60 and 55% of the total flux of NGC 1097 at 70, 100 and 160 mum, respectively. We compare the far-IR structure of the ring to what is seen at other wavelengths and identify a sequence of far-IR bright knots that correspond to those seen in radio and mid-IR images. The mid- and far-IR band ratios in the ring vary by less than ±20% azimuthally, indicating modest variation in the radiation field heating the dust on ~600 pc scales. We explore various explanations for the azimuthal uniformity in the far-IR colors of the ring including a lack of well-defined age gradients in the young stellar cluster population, a dominant contribution to the far-IR emission from dust heated by older (>10 Myr) stars and/or a quick smoothing of local enhancements in dust temperature due to the short orbital period of the ring. Finally, we improve previous limits on the far-IR flux from the inner ~600 pc of NGC 1097 by an order of magnitude, providing a better estimate of the total bolometric emission arising from the active galactic nucleus and its associated central starburst. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.
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