The dust opacity of star-forming galaxies

Authors
Citation
D. Calzetti, The dust opacity of star-forming galaxies, PUB AST S P, 113(790), 2001, pp. 1449-1485
Citations number
460
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Editorial Material
Categorie Soggetti
Space Sciences
Journal title
PUBLICATIONS OF THE ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF THE PACIFIC
ISSN journal
0004-6280 → ACNP
Volume
113
Issue
790
Year of publication
2001
Pages
1449 - 1485
Database
ISI
SICI code
0004-6280(200112)113:790<1449:TDOOSG>2.0.ZU;2-F
Abstract
The presence of dust in galaxies removes one-half or more of the stellar en ergy from the UV-optical budget of the universe and has a profound impact o n our understanding of how galaxies evolve. Measures of opacity in local ga laxies are reviewed together with widely used theoretical and empirical met hods for quantifying its effects. Existing evidence shows that the dust con tent of nearby galaxies depends not only on their morphology but also on th eir luminosity and activity level. A digression is devoted to starbursts in view of their potential relevance for measures of opacity in distant galax ies. Scarcity of coherent multiwavelength data sets hampers our ability to derive reliable obscuration estimates in intermediate- and high-redshift ga laxies. This, in turn, limits the reliability of inferred physical quantiti es, such as star formation rates, stellar population ages, galaxy luminosit y functions, and others.