The importance of nebular emission for SED modeling of distant star-forming galaxies

Daniel Schaerer, Stephane de Barros
2011 Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union  
We highlight and discuss the importance of accounting for nebular emission in the SEDs of high redshift galaxies, as lines and continuum emission can contribute significantly or subtly to broad-band photometry. Physical parameters such as the galaxy age, mass, star-formation rate, dust attenuation and others inferred from SED fits can be affected to different extent by the treatment of nebular emission. We analyse a large sample of Lyman break galaxies from z~3-6, and show some main results
more » ... strating e.g. the importance of nebular emission for determinations of the mass-SFR relation, attenuation and age. We suggest that a fairly large scatter in such relations could be intrinsic. We find that the majority of objects (~60-70%) is better fit with SEDs accounting for nebular emission; the remaining galaxies are found to show relatively weak or no emission lines. Our modeling, and supporting empirical evidence, suggests the existence of two categories of galaxies, "starbursts" and "post-starbursts" (lower SFR and older galaxies) among the LBG population, and relatively short star-formation timescales.
doi:10.1017/s1743921312008630 fatcat:5sgjyzcpnndkhemqhcb43usus4