Far-infrared and dust properties of present-day galaxies in the EAGLE simulations

Peter Camps*, James W. Trayford, Maarten Baes, Tom Theuns, Matthieu Schaller, Joop Schaye

*Corresponding author for this work

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The Evolution and Assembly of GaLaxies and their Environments (EAGLE) cosmological simulations reproduce the observed galaxy stellar mass function and many galaxy properties. In this work, we study the dust-related properties of present-day EAGLE galaxies through mock observations in the far-infrared and submmwavelength ranges obtained with the 3D dust radiative transfer code SKIRT. To prepare an EAGLE galaxy for radiative transfer processing, we derive a diffuse dust distribution from the gas particles and we re-sample the star-forming gas particles and the youngest star particles into star-forming regions that are assigned dedicated emission templates. We select a set of redshift-zero EAGLE galaxies that matches the K-band luminosity distribution of the galaxies in the Herschel Reference Survey (HRS), a volume- limited sample of about 300 normal galaxies in the Local Universe. We find overall agreement of the EAGLE dust scaling relations with those observed in the HRS, such as the dust-to- stellar mass ratio versus stellar mass and versus NUV-r colour relations. A discrepancy in the f250/f350 versus f350/f500 submm colour-colour relation implies that part of the simulated dust is insufficiently heated, likely because of limitations in our sub-grid model for star-forming regions. We also investigate the effect of adjusting the metal-to-dust ratio and the covering factor of the photodissociation regions surrounding the star-forming cores. We are able to constrain the important dust-related parameters in our method, informing the calculation of dust attenuation for EAGLE galaxies in the UV and optical domain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1057-1075
Number of pages19
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Early online date19 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2016


  • dust, extinction
  • galaxies: formation
  • infrared: ISM
  • methods: numerical
  • radiative transfer
  • UKRI
  • STFC
  • ST/K00042X/1
  • ST/H008519/1
  • ST/K00087X/1
  • ST/K003267/1


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