Star formation and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in ELAIS N1 galaxies as seen by AKARI

Tímea O. Kovács, Denis Burgarella, Hidehiro Kaneda, Dániel Cs Molnár, Shinki Oyabu, Sandor Pinter, L. Viktor Toth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We have examined the relationship between star formation and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in a variety of galaxies. PAHs are excited by the ultraviolet photons of young stars, but they are disassociated by strong UV radiation in starbursts. Therefore their emission (which is in the wavelength range covered by AKARI) can be used as a star formation tracer in main sequence galaxies.We selected our targets in the ELAIS N1 field with AKARI detections, matched them with the Herschel Point Source Catalog, and collected other publicly available photometric data. Their spectral energy distributions (SEDs) were fitted, and several parameters of the galaxies were estimated, e.g., star formation rate (SFR), stellar mass, and the fraction of PAHs compared to dust mass (qPAH), and we examined the relationships between these parameters. The final sample consisted of 48 galaxies, with redshifts from 0.04 to 2.36. The estimated qPAH values were lower on average than typical values in the literature. This could be due to various reasons, such as low metallicity, or ongoing active galactic nucleus or starburst activity. Of our sample, 83% of the objects fell in the star-forming main sequence of galaxies, while only 8% could be considered as starbursts. We found a decreasing qPAH trend with increasing AV and consequently LIR, suggesting the possible presence of compact star-forming regions. We compared the qPAH values with the known relations of the PAH luminosities, but they did not always follow the same trends (SFR, LIR), and showed only slight correlation with the PAH luminosities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Japan
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2019



  • Galaxies: ISM
  • Galaxies: star formation
  • Infrared: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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