Dust attenuation in the nearby universe: A comparison between galaxies selected in the ultraviolet and in the far-infrared

V. Buat, J. Iglesias-PÁRAMO, M. Seibert, D. Burgarella, S. Charlot, D. C. Martin, C. K. Xu, T. M. Heckman, S. Boissier, A. Boselli, T. Barlow, L. Bianchi, Y. I. Byun, J. Donas, K. Forster, P. G. Friedman, P. Jelinski, Y. W. Lee, B. F. Madore, R. MalinaB. Milliard, P. Morissey, S. Neff, M. Rich, D. Schiminovitch, O. Siegmund, T. Small, A. S. Szalay, B. Welsh, T. K. Wyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

276 Citations (Scopus)


We compare the dust attenuation properties of two samples of galaxies purely selected in the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) near-ultraviolet band (NUV; 1750-2750 Å, λmean = 2310 Å) and in the far-infrared (FIR) at 60 μm. These samples are built using the GALEX and IRAS sky surveys over ∼600 deg2. The NUV-selected sample contains 95 galaxies detected down to NUV = 16 mag (AB system). Eighty-three galaxies in this sample are spiral or irregular, and only two of them are not detected at 60 μm. The FIR-selected sample is built from the IRAS PSC z survey, which is complete down to 0.6 Jy. Among the 163 sources, we select 118 star-forming galaxies that are well measured by IRAS; all but one are detected in NUV, and 14 galaxies are not detected in the far-ultraviolet band (FUV; 1350-1750 Å, λmean = 1530 Å). The dust-to-ultraviolet (NUV and FUV) flux ratio is calibrated to estimate the dust attenuation at both wavelengths. The median value of the attenuation in NUV is found to be ∼1 mag for the NUV-selected sample, versus ∼2 mag for the FIR-selected one. Within both samples, the dust attenuation is found to correlate with the luminosity of the galaxies. Almost all the NUV-selected galaxies and two-thirds of the FIR-selected sample exhibit a lower dust attenuation than expected from the tight relation found previously for starburst galaxies between dust attenuation and the slope of the ultraviolet continuum. The situation is reversed for the remaining third of the FIR-selected galaxies: their extinction is higher than that deduced from their FUV - NUV color and the relation for starbursts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L51-L54
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 II
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jan 20

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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