Optical and infrared diagnostics of SDSS galaxies in the SWIRE survey

Davoodi, P, Pozzi, F, Oliver, S, Polletta, M, Afonso-Luis, A, Farrah, D, Hatziminaoglou, E, Rodighiero, G, Berta, S, Waddington, I, Lonsdale, C, Rowan-Robinson, M, Shupe, D L, Evans, T, Fang, F, Smith, H E and Surace, J (2006) Optical and infrared diagnostics of SDSS galaxies in the SWIRE survey. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 371 (3). pp. 1113-1124. ISSN 0035-8711

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We present the rest-frame optical and infrared colours of a complete sample of 1114 z < 0.3 galaxies from the Spitzer Wide-Area Infrared Extragalactic (SWIRE) Legacy Survey and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). We discuss the optical and infrared colours of our sample and analyse in detail the contribution of dusty star-forming galaxies and active galactic nuclei (AGN) to optically selected red sequence galaxies.

We propose that the optical (g−r) colour and infrared log(L24/L3.6) colour of galaxies in our sample are determined primarily by a bulge-to-disc ratio. The (g−r) colour is found to be sensitive to the bulge-to-disc ratio for disc-dominated galaxies, whereas the log(L24/L3.6) colour is more sensitive for bulge-dominated systems.

We identify ∼18 per cent (195 sources) of our sample as having red optical colours and infrared excess. Typically, the infrared luminosities of these galaxies are found to be at the high end of star-forming galaxies with blue optical colours. Using emission-line diagnostic diagrams, 78 are found to have an AGN contribution and 117 are identified as star-forming systems. The red (g−r) colour of the star-forming galaxies could be explained by extinction. However, their high optical luminosities cannot. We conclude that they have a significant bulge component.

The number densities of optically red star-forming galaxies are found to correspond to ∼13 per cent of the total number density of our sample. In addition, these systems contribute ∼13 per cent of the total optical luminosity density, and 28 per cent of the total infrared luminosity density of our SWIRE/SDSS sample. These objects may reduce the need for ‘dry mergers’.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: We identified a significant population of actively star-forming galaxies in the infrared that are apparently passive in the optical. Davoodi, my DPhil student, worked under my close guidance. The choice of this topic, subsequent direction, and interpretation was largely mine. Technical work came from Davoodi and Pozzi.
Schools and Departments: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: Seb Oliver
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:40
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 15:02
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/17704

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