Blast observations of resolved galaxies: Temperature profiles and the effect of active galactic nuclei on fir to Submillimeter emission

Donald V. Wiebe, Peter A.R. Ade, James J. Bock, Edward L. Chapin, Mark J. Devlin, Simon Dicker, Matthew Griffin, Joshua O. Gundersen, Mark Halpern, Peter C. Hargrave, David H. Hughes, Jeff Klein, Gaelen Marsden, Peter G. Martin, Philip Mauskopf, Calvin B. Netterfield, Luca Olmi, Enzo Pascale, Guillaume Patanchon, Marie RexDouglas Scott, Christopher Semisch, Nicholas Thomas, Matthew D.P. Truch, Carole Tucker, Gregory S. Tucker, Marco P. Viero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Over the course of two flights, the Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (BLAST) made resolved maps of seven nearby (<25 Mpc) galaxies at 250, 350, and 500μm. During its 2005 June flight from Sweden, BLAST observed a single nearby galaxy, NGC4565. During the 2006 December flight from Antarctica, BLAST observed the nearby galaxies NGC1097, NGC1291, NGC1365, NGC1512, NGC1566, and NGC1808. We fit physical dust models to a combination of BLAST observations and other available data for the galaxies observed by Spitzer. We fit a modified blackbody to the remaining galaxies to obtain total dust mass and mean dust temperature. For the four galaxies with Spitzer data, we also produce maps and radial profiles of dust column density and temperature. We measure the fraction of BLAST detected flux originating from the central cores of these galaxies and use this to calculate a "core fraction," an upper limit on the "active galactic nucleus fraction" of these galaxies. We also find our resolved observations of these galaxies give a dust mass estimate 5-19 times larger than an unresolved observation would predict. Finally, we are able to use these data to derive a value for the dust mass absorption coefficient of κ = 0.29 0.03 m2 kg-1 at 250μm. This study is an introduction to future higher-resolution and higher-sensitivity studies to be conducted by Herschel and SCUBA-2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1809-1823
Number of pages15
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Alaxies: photometry
  • Balloons
  • Elescopes
  • Ubmillimeter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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