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Title: Mid-infrared properties of luminous infrared galaxies. II. Probing the dust and gas physics of the goals sample

The Great Observatories All-sky LIRG Survey (GOALS) is a comprehensive, multiwavelength study of luminous infrared galaxies (LIRGs) in the local universe. Here, we present the results of a multi-component, spectral decomposition analysis of the low-resolution mid-infrared (MIR) Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph spectra from 5-38 μm of 244 LIRG nuclei. The detailed fits and high-quality spectra allow for characterization of the individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) features, warm molecular hydrogen emission, and optical depths for both silicate dust grains and water ices. We find that starbursting LIRGs, which make up the majority of the GOALS sample, are very consistent in their MIR properties (i.e., τ{sub 9.7μm}, τ{sub ice}, neon line ratios, and PAH feature ratios). However, as their EQW{sub 6.2{sub μm}} decreases, usually an indicator of an increasingly dominant active galactic nucleus (AGN), LIRGs cover a larger spread in these MIR parameters. The contribution from PAH emission to the total IR luminosity (L(PAH)/L(IR)) in LIRGs varies from 2%-29% and LIRGs prior to their first encounter show significantly higher L(PAH)/L(IR) ratios on average. We observe a correlation between the strength of the starburst (represented by IR8 = L{sub IR}/L{sub 8{sub μm}}) and the PAH fraction at 8 μm but no obvious link betweenmore » IR8 and the 7.7 to 11.3 PAH ratio, suggesting that the fractional photodissociation region (PDR) emission, and not the overall grain properties, is associated with the rise in IR8 for galaxies off the starburst main sequence. We detect crystalline silicate features in ∼6% of the sample but only in the most obscure sources (s{sub 9.7{sub μm}} < –1.24). Ice absorption features are observed in ∼11% (56%) of GOALS LIRGs (ULIRGs) in sources with a range of silicate depths. Most GOALS LIRGs have L(H{sub 2})/L(PAH) ratios elevated above those observed for normal star-forming galaxies and exhibit a trend for increasing L(H{sub 2})/L(PAH) ratio with increasing L(H{sub 2}). While star formation appears to be the dominant process responsible for exciting the H{sub 2} in most of the GOALS galaxies, a subset of LIRGs (∼10%) shows excess H{sub 2} emission that is inconsistent with PDR models and may be excited by shocks or AGN-induced outflows.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8]
  1. Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics, University of Crete, GR-71003 Heraklion (Greece)
  3. Department of Astronomy, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 400325, Charlottesville, VA 22904 (United States)
  4. INAF-Observatorio Astronomico di Bologna, Via Ranzani 1, I-40127 Bologna (Italy)
  5. National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903 (United States)
  6. The Observatories, Carnegie Institute of Washington, 813 Santa Barbara Street, Pasadena, CA 91101 (United States)
  7. Department of Astronomy, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States)
  8. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Riverside, CA 92507 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365486
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 790; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABSORPTION; CORRELATIONS; DISSOCIATION; DUSTS; EMISSION; GALAXIES; GALAXY NUCLEI; HYDROGEN; ICE; INTERACTIONS; LUMINOSITY; PHOTOLYSIS; POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS; RESOLUTION; SPECTRA; STARS; UNIVERSE; WATER