EDP Sciences
Free Access
Volume 434, Number 1, April IV 2005
Page(s) L1 - L4
Section Letters
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200500095

A&A 434, L1-L4 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200500095


Observational evidence for the presence of PAHs in distant Luminous Infrared Galaxies using ISO and Spitzer

D. Elbaz1, E. Le Floc'h2, H. Dole3 and D. Marcillac1

1  DSM/DAPNIA/Service d'Astrophysique, CEA/SACLAY, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
    e-mail: delbaz@cea.fr
2  Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 N Cherry Av., 85721 Tucson, AZ, USA
3  Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Bât. 121, Université Paris-Sud, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France

(Received 5 November 2004 / Accepted 1 March 2005)

We present ISOCAM 15 $\mu$m and MIPS 24 $\mu$m photometry of a sample of 16 distant Luminous Infrared Galaxies (LIRGs) characterized by a median luminosity $L_{\rm IR} \sim$$\times$ 10 $^{11}~L_{\odot}$ and redshift z = 0.7 (distributed from z = 0.1 to 1.2). While some sources display 24/15 $\mu$m flux ratios also consistent with a featureless continuum dominating their mid-infrared (MIR) spectral energy distributions (SEDs), the presence of prominent emission features such as the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons is clearly required to explain the observed colors for more than half of the sample. As a result, a general good agreement is observed between the data and predictions from the local starburst-dominated SEDs that have been used so far to constrain IR galaxy evolution. This is consistent with the star-forming nature of LIRGs derived from previous works, even though our approach cannot rule out the dominance of an AGN in some cases. Our study also supports the possibility of tracing the total IR luminosity of distant galaxies (up to $z\sim$ 1) from their MIR emission.

Key words: galaxies: evolution -- infrared: galaxies -- galaxies: starburst

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