Dust attenuation in star-forming spiral galaxies affects stars and gas in different ways due to local variations in dust geometry. We present spatially resolved measurements of dust attenuation for a sample of 232 such star-forming spiral galaxies, derived from spectra acquired by the SDSS-IV MaNGA survey. The dust attenuation affecting the stellar populations of these galaxies (obtained using full spectrum stellar population fitting methods) is compared with the dust attenuation in the gas (derived from the Balmer decrement). Both of these attenuation measures increase for local regions of galaxies with higher star formation rates; the dust attenuation affecting the stellar populations increases more so than the dust attenuation in the gas, causing the ratio of the dust attenuation affecting the stellar populations to the dust attenuation in the gas to decrease for local regions of galaxies with higher star formation rate densities. No systematic difference is discernible in any of these dust attenuation quantities between the spiral arm and interarm regions of the galaxies. While both the dust attenuation in the gas and the dust attenuation affecting the stellar populations decrease with galactocentric radius, the ratio of the two quantities does not vary with radius. This ratio does, however, decrease systematically as the stellar mass of the galaxy increases. Analysis of the radial profiles of the two dust attenuation measures suggests that there is a disproportionately high concentration of birth clouds (incorporating gas, young stars, and clumpy dust) nearer to the centres of star-forming spiral galaxies.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Pub Date:
- June 2020
- galaxies: spiral;
- galaxies: star formation;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 17 pages, 8 figures, accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society