The evolution of dust content in galaxies
Dust grains are one of the important components of the interstellar medium, as they are responsible for about one third of a galaxy's energy output, even though dust grains only make up about 1% of the interstellar medium mass of a galaxy. Dust grains are small solid particles composed of heavy elements such as C, O, Si, Mg, Fe, and so on (we call these elements metals), and they not only absorb and scatter the interstellar light, but also become ingredients of planets if they are incorporated into protoplanetary disks.
Dust production is believed to take place in the circumstellar environments of dying stars, and subsequently deposited into the interstellar medium. However, it seems that in certain cases, for instance in early galaxies, dust production by evolved stars alone is not efficient enough, and grain growth in the interstellar medium needs to be considered as a significant source of dust. ASIAA researchers Hiroyuki Hirashita and Tzu-Ming Kuo calculated the evolution of dust content in galaxies by taking into account these two dust production processes, as well as dust destruction by supernova shocks. Because dust grains are composed of metals, the relation between metallicity (fraction of metals in gas) and dust-to-gas ratio (fraction of dust to gas) is useful to examine the evolution of dust content in a galaxy. The metallicity of a galaxy increases over time, due to the built up of nucleosynthesis products from stellar ejecta into the interstellar medium and is an indicator of the evolutionary stage of a galaxy.
The left figure demonstrates how the dust-to-gas ratio in a galaxy evolves with increasing metallicity. In the low-metallicity regime, the dust is predominantly supplied by stars, so the dust-to-gas ratio increases in proportion to metallicity. Above a certain metallicity, the dust-to-gas ratio rapidly increases because the dust growth in the interstellar medium becomes more and more important, because interstellar dust growth occurs efficiently in metal-rich interstellar environments. The rapid increase is indeed consistent with the observational data of nearby galaxies.
Hirashita and Kuo find that the dust growth is also sensitive to the grain size distribution. The figure includes the results for three different grain size distributions, with a larger r indicating a larger number of small grains. If the abundance of small grains is large, the surface-to-volume ratio of the grains is large; therefore, the grain growth becomes dominant earlier, i.e. at a lower metallicity. The full research report on this topic is presented by Hirashita & Kuo (2011, MNRAS 416, 1340).
Most of the dust in the interstellar medium in our own Milky Way consists of silicates in a glassy, or amorphous, appearance. This is also shown to be the case in most external galaxies, and it is thought that processes such as cosmic ray hits, and interstellar grain growth, cause essentially the entire silicate reservoir to be amorphous. However, a few years back it was shown that some galaxies undergoing a burst of star formation, the so-called starburst galaxies, actually show a considerable fraction of their interstellar silicate mass in crystalline form. Crystallization of silicates occurs in relatively high temperature environments (1000-1500 K) usually only found in the dust producing environments of evolved stars, and indeed, a small but measurable fraction of crystalline silicates is often seen around evolved stars. It was argued that in starburst galaxies so much dust production was taking place by massive stars with relatively short life spans, that the crystalline signal from this dust was drowning out the amorphous signal from the interstellar medium.
ASIAA researcher Ciska Kemper and her collaborators put this theory to the test and constructed a model, which includes the dust production, destruction, amorphitization and crystallization rates for a starburst galaxy, depending on the rate of star formation.The right figure shows the result of these calculations: The top panel indicates the total dust production in a starburst galaxy in terms of time after the start of the starburst; the star formation rate is constant and the starburst lasts 100 million years (indicated by the dashed line). The amorphization time scale is indicated by the dotted line, and the destruction time scale by the dash-dotted line. The resulting total silicate mass is shown in panel b) and the crystalline silicate mass is shown in panel c). Dividing these two quantities yields the crystalline fraction, or crystallinity, plotted in panel d), and it is apparent that under certain circumstances a high crystalline fraction may indeed occur in the interstellar medium of starburst galaxies (Kemper et al. 2011, MNRAS 413, 1192).
Dust astrophysics in the laboratory: Research on refractory solids from primitive meteorites
An end point of the evolution of interstellar dust is the incorporation into solid bodies, such as asteroids, in planetary systems such as our own Solar System. Meteorites are fragments of asteroid bodies that fall on Earth’s surface. A class of meteorites is called “primitive meteorites”, whose bulk chemical compositions are essentially identical to that of the solar photosphere. These primitive meteorites contain various components that formed at high temperatures in the very beginning, or even before the birth, of the Solar System. Refractory inclusions, such as Ca-Al-rich Inclusions (CAIs), hibonite (CaAl12O19) and corundum (Al2O3) grains, are some of the meteoritic components of Solar System origin, and carry important constraints on the timing and astrophysical environment of the Solar System formation.
Another type of meteoritic constituents are the presolar dust grains. They are tiny solid condensates (1 micron in size or less) from the stellar winds of evolved stars that ended their lives before the Sun formed. Presolar dust grains survived the interstellar passage and destructive processes in the early Solar System and were finally incorporated into asteroid parent bodies. As presolar grains were part of their parent stars, they formed with the products of stellar nucleosynthesis, and thus can be recognized by unusual isotopic compositions. Combined with theoretical modeling, these grains could serve as a direct probe to understand the nuclear processes inside stars. At ASIAA, Typhoon Lee and Ming-Chang Liu, and their team study both Solar System and presolar solids for their chemical and isotopic compositions with the aim to better understand the chemical and physical processes that occurred when the Solar System formed, and its subsequent evolution, and improving our knowledge about stellar nucleosynthesis.
The left figure shows a meteoritic hibonite grain extracted from the Murchison meteorite. The dark inclusion on the upper left is corundum. The bright part in the middle is material from the matrix. The right figure shows a corner of a Ca-Al-rich Inclusion from the Allende meteorite. A well-formed rim (the dark band from the upper left to the lower right) can be clearly seen in the picture. (Photo credit: Cheng-Kai Wang)
Research Members (7)
Journal Papers (41)
- Hirashita H, "Properties of free-free, dust, and CO emissions in the starbursts of blue compact dwarf galaxies" , MNRAS: 429(4), 3390-3401, Mar 11, 2013 [SCI]
- Hirashita H; Kobayashi H, "Evolution of dust grain size distribution by shattering in the interstellar medium: robustness and uncertainty" , Earth Planets and Space: 65(10), 1083-1094, 2013 [SCI]
- Hirashita H; Li Z-Y, "Condition for the formation of micron-sized dust grains in dense molecular cloud cores" , MNRAS: 434(1), L70-L74, July, 2013 [SCI]
- Hirashita H; Nikolai Voshchinnikov N, "Effects of grain growth mechanisms on the extinction curve and the metal depletion in the interstellar medium" , MNRAS, 2013, in Press [SCI]
- Hirashita H; Nozawa T, "Synthesized grain size distribution in the interstellar medium" , Earth Planets and Space: 65(3), 183-192, Mar, 2013 [SCI]
- Kemper F, "Stellar dust production and composition in the Magellanic Clouds" , Earth Planets and Space: 65(3), 223–227, Mar, 2013 [SCI]
- Kuo T-M; Hirashita H; Zafar T, "Evolution of dust content in galaxies probed by gamma-ray burst afterglows" , MNRAS, 2013, in Press [SCI]
- Morata O;Hasegawa TI, "Effects of H2 coating of grains on depletion of molecular species" , MNRAS: 429(4), 3578-3583, March 11, 2013 [SCI]
- Otsuka M; Kemper F; Hyung S; et al., "The detection of C60 in the well-characterized planetary nebula M1-11" , ApJ: 764(1), 77, Feb 10, 2013 [SCI]
- Seok JY; Koo B-C; Onaka T, "A Survey Of Infrared Supernova Rem- nants In The Large Magellanic Cloud" , ApJ, 2013, Submitted [SCI]
- Hirashita H, "Dust growth in the interstellar medium: How do accretion and coagulation interplay?" , MNRAS: 422, 1263-1271, May, 2012 [SCI]
- Hsieh H-F; Gu P-G, "On the Secular Behavior of Dust Particles in an Eccentric Protoplanetary Disk with an Embedded Massive Gas Giant Planet" , ApJ: 760(2), 119, Dec 1, 2012 [SCI]
- Kuo T-M; Hirashita H, "Impact of grain size distributions on the dust enrichment in high-redshift quasars" , MNRAS: 424(1), L34-L38, July, 2012 [SCI]
- Otsuka M; et al., "Late-time Light Curves of Type II Supernovae: Physical Properties of Supernovae and Their Environment" , ApJ: 744(1), 26, Jan, 2012 [SCI]
- Wang W-H; Barger AJ; Cowie LL, "A Ks and IRAC Selection of High-Redshift Extremely Red Objects" , ApJ: 744, 155, Jan, 2012 [SCI]
- Wang W-H; Chen H-W; Huang L-J, "ALMA Submillimeter Continuum Imaging of the Host Galaxies of GRB 021004 and GRB 080607" , ApJL: 761(2), L32, Dec 20, 2012 [SCI]
- Hirashita H, "Central free-free dominated 880-μm emission in II Zw 40" , MNRAS: 418(2), 828-837, Dec, 2011 [SCI]
- Kemper F; Markwick AJ; Woods PM, "The crystalline fraction of interstellar silicates in starburst galaxies" , MNRAS: 413(2), 1192-1199, May, 2011 [SCI]
- Matsushita S; et al., "Dense and Warm Molecular Gas and Warm Dust in Nearby Galaxies" , PASJ: 62(2), 409-421, April 25, 2010 [SCI]
- Matsushita S; ...; Chou RCY; ...; Lim J; Muller S; ...; Sakamoto K; Sawada-Satoh S; et al., "SMA CO(J=6-5) and 435 micron interferometric imaging of the nuclear region of Arp 220" , ApJ: 693(1), 56-68, Mar 1, 2009 [SCI]
- Asano R; Takeuchi TT; Hirashita H; Inoue AK, "Dust formation history of galaxies: a critical role of metallicity for the dust mass growth by accreting materials in the interstellar medium" , Earth Planets and Space: 65(3), 213-222, Mar, 2013 [SCI]
- Asano RS; Takeuchi TT; Hirashita H; Nozawa T, "What determines the grain size distribution in galaxies?" , MNRAS: 432(1), 637-652, June, 2013 [SCI]
- Chen XP; Arce HG; Zhang QZ; ...; Lee CF; et al., "SMA Observations of Class 0 Protostars: A High-Angular Resolution Survey of Protostellar Binary Systems" , ApJ: 768(2), 110, May 10, 2013 [SCI]
- Fujita Y; Okabe N; ...; Matsushita S; Hirashita H; Nakamura M; et al, "Discovery of an Outstanding Disk in the cD Galaxy of the Hydra A Cluster" , PASJ, 2013, in Press [SCI]
- Matsuura M; ...; M. Otsuka; ...; Kemper F; et al., "Spitzer Space Telescope spectra of post-AGB stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud - polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons at low metallicities" , MNRAS, 2013, Submitted [SCI]
- Meixner M; Panuzzo P; Roman-Duval J; ...; Kemper F; ...; Otsuka M; ...; Srinivasan S; et al., "The Herschel Inventory of the Agents of Galaxy Evolution (HERITAGE) in the Magellanic Clouds, a Herschel Open Time Key Program" , AJ: 146(3), 62, Sept, 2013 [SCI]
- Sloan GC; Lagadec E; Zijlstra AA; ...; Kemper F; et al., "Carbon-rich dust past the Asymptotic Giant Branch: Aliphatics, aromatics, and fullerenes in the Magellanic Clouds" , ApJ, 2013, Submitted [SCI]
- Toba Y; Oyabu S; Matsuhara H; ...; Ohyama Y; et al., "The 9 and 18 Micrometer Luminosity Functions of Various Types of Galaxies with AKARI: Implication for the Dust Torus Structure of AGN" , PASJ: 65, 113-133, Oct, 2013 [SCI]
- Tsumura1 K; Matsumoto T; Matsuura S; et al., "Low-Resolution Spectra of the Zodiacal Light with the AKARI InfraRed Camera" , PASJ, 2013, in Press [SCI]
- Gallagher JS; ...; Otsuka M; et al., "Optical and Infrared Analysis of Type II SN 2006bc" , ApJ: 753(2), 109, July 10, 2012 [SCI]
- Jones OC; Kemper F; et al., "On the metallicity dependence of crystalline silicates in oxygen-rich asymptotic giant branch stars and red supergiants" , MNRAS: 427(4), 3209-3229, Dec, 2012 [SCI]
- Nakamura F; Takakuwa S; Kawabe R, "Substellar-mass Condensations in Prestellar Cores" , ApJL: 758(2), L25, Oct 20, 2012 [SCI]
- Boyer ML*; Srinivasan S; ...; Kemper F; et al., "Surveying the Agents of Galaxy Evolution in the Tidally Stripped, Low Metallicity Small Magellanic Cloud (SAGE-SMC). II. Cool Evolved Stars" , AJ: 142(4), 103, Oct, 2011 [SCI]
- Gielen C; Van Winckel H; Evans T Lloyd; ...; Kemper F; et al., "Silicate features in Galactic and extragalactic post-AGB discs" , A&A: 533, A99, Sept, 2011 [SCI]
- Gordon KD; Meixner M; ...; Kemper F; et al., "Surveying the Agents of Galaxy Evolution in the Tidally Stripped, Low Metallicity Small Magellanic Cloud (SAGE-SMC). I. Overview" , AJ: 142(2), 102, Oct, 2011 [SCI]
- Hony S; Kemper F; Woods PM; et al., "The Spitzer discovery of a galaxy with infrared emission solely due to AGN activity" , A&A: 531, A137, July, 2011 [SCI]
- Jang MS; ...; Urata Y; Huang KY; Hirashita H; et al., "Dust Properties in the Afterglow of GRB 071025 at z ~ 5" , ApJ: 741(1), L20, Nov 1, 2011 [SCI]
- Van Breemen JM; Min M; ...; Kemper F; et al., "The 9.7 and 18 µm silicate absorption proﬁles towards diffuse and molecular cloud lines-of-sight" , A&A: 526, A152, Feb, 2011 [SCI]
- Volk K; ...; Kemper F; et al., "Discovery and Analysis of 21 µm Feature Sources in the Magellanic Clouds" , ApJ: 735(2), 127, July, 2011 [SCI]
- Woods PM; Oliveira JM; Kemper F; et al., "The SAGE-Spec Spitzer Legacy programme: the life-cycle of dust and gas in the Large Magellanic Cloud - Point source classification I" , MNRAS: 411(1), 1597-1627, March, 2011 [SCI]
- Srinivasan S; Sargent BA; Matsuura M; Meixner M; Kemper F; Tielens AGGM; Volk K; Speck AK; Woods PM; Gordon K; Marengo M; Sloan GC, "The mass-loss return from evolved stars to the Large Magellanic Cloud. III. Dust properties for carbon-rich asymptotic giant branch stars" , A&A: 524, A49, 2010 [SCI]