The Survey of Lines in M31 (SLIM): The Drivers of the [CII]/TIR Variation [GA]

The ratio of the [CII] 158$\,\mu$m emission line over the total infrared emission (TIR) is often used as a proxy for the photoelectric (PE) heating efficiency ($\epsilon_{\rm PE}$) of the far-ultraviolet (FUV) photons absorbed by dust in the interstellar medium. In the nearby galaxy M31, we measure a strong radial variation of [CII]/TIR that we rule out as being due to an intrinsic variation in $\epsilon_{\rm PE}$. [CII]/TIR fails as a proxy for $\epsilon_{\rm PE}$, because the TIR measures all dust heating, not just the contribution from FUV photons capable of ejecting electrons from dust grains. Using extensive multiwavelength coverage from the FUV to far-infrared (FIR), we infer the attenuated FUV emission ($\rm UV_{att}$), and the total attenuated flux ($\rm TOT_{att}$). We find [CII]/TIR to be strongly correlated with $\rm UV_{att}$/$\rm TOT_{att}$, indicating that, in M31 at least, one of the dominant drivers for [CII]/TIR variation is the relative hardness of the absorbed stellar radiation field. We define $\rm{ \epsilon_{PE}^{UV}}$, [CII]/$\rm{ UV_{att}}$ which should be more closely related to the actual PE efficiency, which we find to be essentially constant ($1.85 \pm 0.8 \%$) in all explored fields in M31. This suggests that part of the observed variation of [CII]/TIR in other galaxies is likely due to a change in the relative hardness of the absorbed stellar radiation field, caused by a combination of variations in the stellar population, dust opacity and galaxy metallicity, although PE efficiency may also vary across a wider range of environments.

Read this paper on arXiv…

M. Kapala, B. Groves, K. Sandstrom, et. al.
Fri, 19 May 17

Comments: 19 pages, 16 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ