Astrophys. J., 879, 131-131 (2019/July-2)
The evolution of the interstellar medium in post-starburst galaxies.
LI Z., FRENCH K.D., ZABLUDOFF A.I. and HO L.C.
Abstract (from CDS):
We derive dust masses (Mdust) from the spectral energy distributions of 58 post-starburst galaxies (PSBs). There is an anticorrelation between specific dust mass (Mdust/M*) and the time elapsed since the starburst ended, indicating that dust was either destroyed, expelled, or rendered undetectable over the ∼1 Gyr after the burst. The Mdust/M* depletion timescale, 205–37+58Myr, is consistent with that of the CO-traced MH2/M*_, suggesting that dust and gas are altered via the same process. Extrapolating these trends leads to the Mdust/M* and MH2/M*_ values of early-type galaxies (ETGs) within 1-2 Gyr, a timescale consistent with the evolution of other PSB properties into ETGs. Comparing Mdust and MH2_ for PSBs yields a calibration, log MH2=0.45logMdust_+6.02, that allows us to place 33 PSBs on the Kennicutt-Schmidt (KS) plane, ΣSFR–ΣMH2_. Over the first ∼200-300 Myr, the PSBs evolve down and off of the KS relation, as their star formation rate (SFR) decreases more rapidly than MH2_. Afterwards, MH2_ continues to decline whereas the SFR levels off. These trends suggest that the star formation efficiency bottoms out at 10–11 yr–1 and will rise to ETG levels within 0.5-1.1 Gyr afterwards. The SFR decline after the burst is likely due to the absence of gas denser than the CO-traced H2. The mechanism of the Mdust/M* and MH2/M*_ decline, whose timescale suggests active galactic nucleus/low-ionization nuclear emission-line region feedback, may also be preventing the large CO-traced molecular gas reservoirs from collapsing and forming denser star-forming clouds.
© 2019. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
galaxies: evolution - galaxies: ISM - galaxies: starburst - infrared: galaxies
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