January 31st, 2013

A Herschel Survey of the [N II] 205 micron Line in Local Luminous Infrared Galaxies — The [N II] 205 micron Emission as a Star Formation Rate Indicator

Yinghe Zhao, Nanyao Lu, C. Kevin Xu, Yu Gao, S. Lord, J. Howell, K. G. Isaak, V. Charmandaris, T. Diaz-Santos, P. Appleton, A. Evans, K. Iwasawa, J. Leech, J. Mazzarella, A. O. Petric, D. B. Sanders, B. Schulz, J. Surace, P. P. van der Werf
(Submitted on 30 Jan 2013)

We present, for the first time, a statistical study of [N II] 205 mciron line emission for a large sample of local luminous infrared galaxies using Herschel Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver Fourier Transform Spectrometer (SPIRE FTS) data. For our sample of galaxies, we investigate the correlation between the [N II] luminosity (LNII) and the total infrared luminosity (LIR), as well as the dependence of LNII/LIR ratio on LIR, far infrared colors (IRAS $f_{60}/f_{100}$) and the [O III] 88 micron to [N II] luminosity ratio. We find that LNII correlates almost linearly with LIR for non AGN galaxies (all having $L_{IR} < 10^{12} L_solar$) in our sample, which implies that LNII can serve as a SFR tracer which is particularly useful for high redshift galaxies which will be observed with forthcoming submm spectroscopic facilities such as the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array. Our analysis shows that the deviation from the mean LNII-LIR relation correlates with tracers of the ionization parameter, which suggests the scatter in this relation is mainly due to the variations in the hardness, and/or ionization parameter, of the ambient galactic UV field among the sources in our sample.

Comments: 6 emulateapj pages, 3 figures; ApJ Letter accepted
Subjects: Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)
Cite as: arXiv:1301.7318 [astro-ph.CO]
(or arXiv:1301.7318v1 [astro-ph.CO] for this version)
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