The dusty starburst nucleus of M33

Karl D. Gordon, M. M. Hanson, Geoffrey C. Clayton, George H. Rieke, K. A. Misselt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We have thoroughly characterized the ultraviolet to near-infrared (0.15-2.2 μm) spectral energy distribution (SED) of the central parsec of the M33 nucleus through new infrared photometry and optical/ near-infrared spectroscopy, combined with ultraviolet/optical observations from the literature and the Hubble Space Telescope archive. The SED shows evidence for a significant level of attenuation, which we model through a Monte Carlo radiative transfer code as a shell of clumpy Milky Way-type dust (τV ∼ 2 ± 1). The discovery of Milky Way-type dust (with a strong 2175 Å bump) internal to the M33 nucleus is different from previous work, which has found SMC-like dust (no bump) near starburst regions. The amount by which dust can be processed may be related to the mass and age of the starburst as well as the extent to which the dust can shield itself. Our starburst models include the effects of this dust and can fit the SED if the nucleus was the site of a moderate (∼108 L at 10 Myr) episode of coeval star formation about 70 Myr ago. This result is quite different from previous studies, which resorted to multiple stellar populations (between two and seven) attenuated by either no or very little internal dust. The M33 nuclear starburst is remarkably similar to an older version (70 versus 10 Myr) of the ultracompact starburst in the center of the Milky Way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-176
Number of pages12
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume519
Issue number1 PART 1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1999

Fingerprint

dust
nuclei
spectral energy distribution
near infrared
energy
infrared photometry
infrared spectroscopy
Hubble Space Telescope
radiative transfer
star formation
shield
attenuation
shell
distribution

Keywords

  • Galaxies: individual (M33)
  • Galaxies: ISM
  • Galaxies: nuclei
  • Galaxies: starburst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Gordon, K. D., Hanson, M. M., Clayton, G. C., Rieke, G. H., & Misselt, K. A. (1999). The dusty starburst nucleus of M33. Astrophysical Journal, 519(1 PART 1), 165-176.

The dusty starburst nucleus of M33. / Gordon, Karl D.; Hanson, M. M.; Clayton, Geoffrey C.; Rieke, George H.; Misselt, K. A.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 519, No. 1 PART 1, 01.07.1999, p. 165-176.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gordon, KD, Hanson, MM, Clayton, GC, Rieke, GH & Misselt, KA 1999, 'The dusty starburst nucleus of M33', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 519, no. 1 PART 1, pp. 165-176.
Gordon KD, Hanson MM, Clayton GC, Rieke GH, Misselt KA. The dusty starburst nucleus of M33. Astrophysical Journal. 1999 Jul 1;519(1 PART 1):165-176.
Gordon, Karl D. ; Hanson, M. M. ; Clayton, Geoffrey C. ; Rieke, George H. ; Misselt, K. A. / The dusty starburst nucleus of M33. In: Astrophysical Journal. 1999 ; Vol. 519, No. 1 PART 1. pp. 165-176.
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