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The non-linear infrared-radio correlation of low-z galaxies: implications for redshift evolution, a new radio SFR recipe, and how to minimize selection bias

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posted on 2023-06-09, 23:25 authored by Daniel Cs Molnar, Mark Sargent, Sarah Leslie, Benjamin Magnelli, Eva Schinnerer, Giovanni Zamorani, Jacinta Delhaize, Vernesa Smolcic, Kresimir Tisanic, Eleni Vardoulaki
The infrared-radio correlation (IRRC) underpins many commonly used radio luminosity-star formation rate (SFR) calibrations. In preparation for the new generation of radio surveys we revisit the IRRC of low-z galaxies by (a) drawing on the best currently available IR and 1.4 GHz radio photometry, plus ancillary data over the widest possible area, and (b) carefully assessing potential systematics. We compile a catalogue of ~9,500 z < 0.2 galaxies and derive their 1.4 GHz radio (L1.4), total IR, and monochromatic IR luminosities in up to seven bands, allowing us to parameterize the wavelength-dependence of monochromatic IRRCs from 22-500 µm. For the first time for low-z samples, we quantify how poorly matched IR and radio survey depths bias measured median IR/radio ratios, q¯¯TIR , and discuss the level of biasing expected for low-z IRRC studies in ASKAP/MeerKAT fields. For our subset of ~2,000 high-confidence star-forming galaxies we find a median q¯¯TIR of 2.54 (scatter: 0.17 dex). We show that q¯¯TIR correlates with L1.4, implying a non-linear IRRC with slope 1.11±0.01. Our new L1.4-SFR calibration, which incorporates this non-linearity, reproduces SFRs from panchromatic SED fits substantially better than previous IRRC-based recipes. Finally, we match the evolutionary slope of recently measured q¯¯TIR -redshift trends without having to invoke redshift evolution of the IRRC. In this framework, the redshift evolution of q¯¯TIR reported at GHz frequencies in the literature is the consequence of a partial, redshift-dependent sampling of a non-linear IRRC obeyed by low-z and distant galaxies.


10 billion years of galaxy evolution: establishing the links between star-formation and cold gas reservoirs; G1946; ROYAL SOCIETY; LT150041


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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society




Oxford University Press

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