The spectral energy distributions and infrared luminosities of z ≈ 2 dust-obscured galaxies from Herschel and Spitzer

J. Melbourne, B. T. Soifer, Vandana Desai, Alexandra Pope, Lee Armus, Arjun Dey, R. S. Bussmann, B. T. Jannuzi, Stacey Alberts

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Dust-obscured galaxies (DOGs) are a subset of high-redshift (z ≈ 2) optically-faint ultra-luminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs, e.g., L IR > 10 12 L ). We present new far-infrared photometry, at 250, 350, and 500 μm (observed-frame), from the Herschel Space Telescope for a large sample of 113 DOGs with spectroscopically measured redshifts. Approximately 60% of the sample are detected in the far-IR. The Herschel photometry allows the first robust determinations of the total infrared luminosities of a large sample of DOGs, confirming their high IR luminosities, which range from 10 11.6 L <L IR(8-1000 μm) < 10 13.6 L . 90% of the Herschel-detected DOGs in this sample are ULIRGs and 30% have L IR > 10 13 L . The rest-frame near-IR (1-3 μm) spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of the Herschel-detected DOGs are predictors of their SEDs at longer wavelengths. DOGs with "power-law" SEDs in the rest-frame near-IR show observed-frame 250/24 μm flux density ratios similar to the QSO-like local ULIRG, Mrk 231. DOGs with a stellar "bump" in their rest-frame near-IR show observed-frame 250/24 μm flux density ratios similar to local star-bursting ULIRGs like NGC6240. None show 250/24 μm flux density ratios similar to extreme local ULIRG, Arp 220; though three show 350/24 μm flux density ratios similar to Arp 220. For the Herschel-detected DOGs, accurate estimates (within ∼25%) of total IR luminosity can be predicted from their rest-frame mid-IR data alone (e.g., from Spitzer observed-frame 24 μm luminosities). Herschel-detected DOGs tend to have a high ratio of infrared luminosity to rest-frame 8 μm luminosity (the IR8 = L IR(8-1000 μm)/νL ν(8 μm) parameter of Elbaz et al.). Instead of lying on the z = 1-2 "infrared main sequence" of star-forming galaxies (like typical LIRGs and ULIRGs at those epochs) the DOGs, especially large fractions of the bump sources, tend to lie in the starburst sequence. While, Herschel-detected DOGs are similar to scaled up versions of local ULIRGs in terms of 250/24 μm flux density ratio, and IR8, they tend to have cooler far-IR dust temperatures (20-40 K for DOGs versus 40-50 K for local ULIRGs) as measured by the rest-frame 80/115 μm flux density ratios (e.g., observed-frame 250/350 μm ratios at z = 2). DOGs that are not detected by Herschel appear to have lower observed-frame 250/24 μm ratios than the detected sample, either because of warmer dust temperatures, lower IR luminosities, or both.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number125
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2012
Externally publishedYes



  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • galaxies: starburst
  • infrared: galaxies
  • submillimeter: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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