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GAMA/H-ATLAS : common star formation rate indicators and their dependence on galaxy physical parameters.

Wang, L. and Norberg, P. and Gunawardhana, M. L. P. and Heinis, S. and Baldry, I. K. and Bland-Hawthorn, J. and Bourne, N. and Brough, S. and Brown, M. J. I. and Cluver, M. E. and Cooray, A. and da Cunha, E. and Driver, S. P. and Dunne, L. and Dye, S. and Eales, S. and Grootes, M. W. and Holwerda, B. W. and Hopkins, A. M. and Ibar, E. and Ivison, R. and Lacey, C. and Lara-Lopez, M. A. and Loveday, J. and Maddox, S. J. and Michałowski, M. J. and Oteo, I. and Owers, M. S. and Popescu, C. C. and Smith, D. J. B. and Taylor, E. N. and Tuffs, R. J. and van der Werf, P. (2016) 'GAMA/H-ATLAS : common star formation rate indicators and their dependence on galaxy physical parameters.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 461 (2). pp. 1898-1916.


We compare common star formation rate (SFR) indicators in the local Universe in the Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA) equatorial fields (∼160 deg2), using ultraviolet (UV) photometry from GALEX, far-infrared and sub-millimetre (sub-mm) photometry from Herschel Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey, and Hα spectroscopy from the GAMA survey. With a high-quality sample of 745 galaxies (median redshift 〈z〉 = 0.08), we consider three SFR tracers: UV luminosity corrected for dust attenuation using the UV spectral slope β (SFRUV, corr), Hα line luminosity corrected for dust using the Balmer decrement (BD) (SFRH α, corr), and the combination of UV and infrared (IR) emission (SFRUV + IR). We demonstrate that SFRUV, corr can be reconciled with the other two tracers after applying attenuation corrections by calibrating Infrared excess (IRX; i.e. the IR to UV luminosity ratio) and attenuation in the Hα (derived from BD) against β. However, β, on its own, is very unlikely to be a reliable attenuation indicator. We find that attenuation correction factors depend on parameters such as stellar mass (M*), z and dust temperature (Tdust), but not on Hα equivalent width or Sérsic index. Due to the large scatter in the IRX versus β correlation, when compared to SFRUV + IR, the β-corrected SFRUV, corr exhibits systematic deviations as a function of IRX, BD and Tdust.

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Publisher statement:This article has been published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:15 June 2016
Date deposited:06 October 2016
Date of first online publication:20 June 2016
Date first made open access:06 October 2016

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