Volume 626, June 2019
|Number of page(s)||44|
|Published online||05 June 2019|
The Herschel Dwarf Galaxy Survey
II. Physical conditions, origin of [C II] emission, and porosity of the multiphase low-metallicity ISM⋆
AIM, CEA, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
2 University of Cincinnati, Clermont College, Batavia, OH 45103, USA
3 Institut für theoretische Astrophysik, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Albert-Ueberle Str. 2, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
4 LERMA, Observatoire de Paris, PSL Research University, CNRS, Sorbonne Universités, 75014 Paris, France
5 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
6 Sterrenkundig Observatorium, Universiteit Gent, Krijgslaan 281 S9, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Accepted: 3 April 2019
The sensitive infrared telescopes, Spitzer and Herschel, have been used to target low-metallicity star-forming galaxies, allowing us to investigate the properties of their interstellar medium (ISM) in unprecedented detail. Interpretation of the observations in physical terms relies on careful modeling of those properties. We have employed a multiphase approach to model the ISM phases (H II region and photodissociation region) with the spectral synthesis code Cloudy. Our goal is to characterize the physical conditions (gas densities, radiation fields, etc.) in the ISM of the galaxies from the Herschel Dwarf Galaxy Survey. We are particularly interested in correlations between those physical conditions and metallicity or star-formation activity. Other key issues we have addressed are the contribution of different ISM phases to the total line emission, especially of the [C II]157 μm line, and the characterization of the porosity of the ISM. We find that the lower-metallicity galaxies of our sample tend to have higher ionization parameters and galaxies with higher specific star-formation rates have higher gas densities. The [C II] emission arises mainly from PDRs and the contribution from the ionized gas phases is small, typically less than 30% of the observed emission. We also find a correlation – though with scatter – between metallicity and both the PDR covering factor and the fraction of [C II] from the ionized gas. Overall, the low metal abundances appear to be driving most of the changes in the ISM structure and conditions of these galaxies, and not the high specific star-formation rates. These results demonstrate in a quantitative way the increase of ISM porosity at low metallicity. Such porosity may be typical of galaxies in the young Universe.
Key words: radiative transfer / HII regions / photon-dominated region / galaxies: dwarf / galaxies: ISM / infrared: ISM
Tables of observed line fluxes and predicted line luminosities from the models are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (22.214.171.124) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/626/A23
© D. Cormier et al. 2019
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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