Volume 643, November 2020
|Number of page(s)||20|
|Published online||06 November 2020|
High-resolution, 3D radiative transfer modelling
V. A detailed model of the M 51 interacting pair
National Observatory of Athens, Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing, Ioannou Metaxa and Vasileos Pavlou, 15236 Athens, Greece
2 Sterrenkundig Observatorium Universiteit Gent, Krijgslaan 281 S9, 9000 Gent, Belgium
3 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK
4 School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University, The Parade, Cardiff CF24 3AA, UK
5 INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Florence, Italy
6 INAF – Istituto di Radioastronomia, Via P. Gobetti 101, 4019 Bologna, Italy
7 INAF – Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica, Via Alfonso Corti 12, 20133 Milan, Italy
8 Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA
9 Instituto de Radioastronomía y Astrofísica, UNAM, Campus Morelia, AP 3-72, 58089 Michoacán, Mexico
10 Laboratoire AIM, CEA/DSM – CNRS – Université Paris Diderot, IRFU/Service d’Astrophysique, CEA Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur- Yvette, France
11 Central Astronomical Observatory of RAS, Pulkovskoye Chaussee 65/1, 196140 St. Petersburg, Russia
12 St. Petersburg State University, Universitetskij Pr. 28, 198504 St. Petersburg, Stary Peterhof, Russia
Accepted: 10 September 2020
Context. Investigating the dust heating mechanisms in galaxies provides a deeper understanding of how the internal energy balance drives their evolution. Over the last decade radiative transfer simulations based on the Monte Carlo method have emphasised the role of the various stellar populations heating the diffuse dust. Beyond the expected heating through ongoing star formation, older stellar populations (≥8 Gyr) and even active galactic nuclei can both contribute energy to the infrared emission of diffuse dust.
Aims. In this particular study we examine how the radiation of an external heating source, such as the less massive galaxy NGC 5195 in the M 51 interacting system, could affect the heating of the diffuse dust of its parent galaxy NGC 5194, and vice versa. Our goal is to quantify the exchange of energy between the two galaxies by mapping the 3D distribution of their radiation field.
Methods. We used SKIRT, a state-of-the-art 3D Monte Carlo radiative transfer code, to construct the 3D model of the radiation field of M 51, following the methodology defined in the DustPedia framework. In the interest of modelling, the assumed centre-to-centre distance separation between the two galaxies is ∼10 kpc.
Results. Our model is able to reproduce the global spectral energy distribution of the system, and it matches the resolved optical and infrared images fairly well. In total, 40.7% of the intrinsic stellar radiation of the combined system is absorbed by dust. Furthermore, we quantify the contribution of the various dust heating sources in the system, and find that the young stellar population of NGC 5194 is the predominant dust-heating agent, with a global heating fraction of 71.2%. Another 23% is provided by the older stellar population of the same galaxy, while the remaining 5.8% has its origin in NGC 5195. Locally, we find that the regions of NGC 5194 closer to NGC 5195 are significantly affected by the radiation field of the latter, with the absorbed energy fraction rising up to 38%. The contribution of NGC 5195 remains under the percentage level in the outskirts of the disc of NGC 5194. This is the first time that the heating of the diffuse dust by a companion galaxy is quantified in a nearby interacting system.
Key words: radiative transfer / dust, extinction / galaxies: interactions / infrared: ISM / galaxies: individual: NGC 5194 / galaxies: individual: NGC 5195
© ESO 2020
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