Mapping the interstellar medium in galaxies with Herschel/SPIRE

S. A. Eales, M. W. L. Smith, C. D. Wilson, G. J. Bendo, L. Cortese, M. Pohlen, A. Boselli, H. L. Gomez, R. Auld, M. Baes, M. J. Barlow, J. J. Bock, M. Bradford, V. Buat, N. Castro-Rodríguez, P. Chanial, S. Charlot, L. Ciesla, D. L. Clements, A. CoorayD. Cormier, J. I. Davies, E. Dwek, D. Elbaz, M. Galametz, F. Galliano, W. K. Gear, J. Glenn, M. Griffin, S. Hony, K. G. Isaak, L. R. Levenson, N. Lu, S. Madden, B. O'Halloran, K. Okumura, S. Oliver, M. J. Page, P. Panuzzo, A. Papageorgiou, T. J. Parkin, I. Pérez-Fournon, N. Rangwala, E. E. Rigby, H. Roussel, A. Rykala, N. Sacchi, M. Sauvage, B. Schulz, M. R. P. Schirm, L. Spinoglio, S. Srinivasan, Jason Stevens, M. Symeonidis, M. Trichas, M. Vaccari, L. Vigroux, H. Wozniak, G. S. Wright, W. W. Zeilinger

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The standard method of mapping the interstellar medium in a galaxy, by observing the molecular gas in the CO 1-0 line and the atomic gas in the 21-cm line, is largely limited with current telescopes to galaxies in the nearby universe. In this letter, we use SPIRE observations of the galaxies M 99 and M 100 to explore the alternative approach of mapping the interstellar medium using the continuum emission from the dust. We have compared the methods by measuring the relationship between the star-formation rate and the surface density of gas in the galaxies using both methods. We find the two methods give relationships with a similar dispersion, confirming that observing the continuum emission from the dust is a promising method of mapping the interstellar medium in galaxies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberL62
Number of pages5
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010


  • galaxies: ISM, galaxies: spiral, dust, extinction, ISM: abundances


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