SPICA and the Chemical Evolution of Galaxies: The Rise of Metals and Dust

Fernández-Ontiveros, J. A., Armus, L., Baes, M., Bernard-Salas, J., Bolatto, A. D., Braine, J., Ciesla, L., De Looze, I., Egami, E., Fischer, J., Giard, M., González-Alfonso, E., Granato, G. L., Gruppioni, C., Imanishi, M., Ishihara, D., Kaneda, H., Madden, S., Malkan, M., Matsuhara, H., Matsuura, M., Nagao, T., Najarro, F., Nakagawa, T., Onaka, T., Oyabu, S., Pereira-Santaella, M., Pérez Fournon, I., Roelfsema, P., Santini, P., Silva, L., Smith, J-D. T., Spinoglio, L., van der Tak, F., Wada, T. & Wu, R., 1-Nov-2017, In : Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia. 34, e053.

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  • J. A. Fernández-Ontiveros
  • L. Armus
  • M. Baes
  • J. Bernard-Salas
  • A. D. Bolatto
  • J. Braine
  • L. Ciesla
  • I. De Looze
  • E. Egami
  • J. Fischer
  • M. Giard
  • E. González-Alfonso
  • G. L. Granato
  • C. Gruppioni
  • M. Imanishi
  • D. Ishihara
  • H. Kaneda
  • S. Madden
  • M. Malkan
  • H. Matsuhara
  • M. Matsuura
  • T. Nagao
  • F. Najarro
  • T. Nakagawa
  • T. Onaka
  • S. Oyabu
  • M. Pereira-Santaella
  • I. Pérez Fournon
  • P. Roelfsema
  • P. Santini
  • L. Silva
  • J.-D. T. Smith
  • L. Spinoglio
  • F. van der Tak
  • T. Wada
  • R. Wu
The physical processes driving the chemical evolution of galaxies in the last 11Gyr cannot be understood without directly probing the dust-obscured phase of star-forming galaxies and active galactic nuclei. This phase, hidden to optical tracers, represents the bulk of the star formation and black hole accretion activity in galaxies at 1 <z < 3. Spectroscopic observations with a cryogenic infrared observatory like SPICA, will be sensitive enough to peer through the dust-obscured regions of galaxies and access the rest-frame mid- to far-infrared range in galaxies at high-z. This wavelength range contains a unique suite of spectral lines and dust features that serve as proxies for the abundances of heavy elements and the dust composition, providing tracers with a feeble response to both extinction and temperature. In this work, we investigate how SPICA observations could be exploited to understand key aspects in the chemical evolution of galaxies: the assembly of nearby galaxies based on the spatial distribution of heavy element abundances, the global content of metals in galaxies reaching the knee of the luminosity function up to z 3, and the dust composition of galaxies at high-z. Possible synergies with facilities available in the late 2020s are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere053
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
Publication statusPublished - 1-Nov-2017


  • galaxies: active, galaxies: evolution, galaxies: starburst, infrared: galaxies, techniques: spectroscopic telescopes

ID: 52894530