Dust formation history of galaxies: A critical role of metallicity* for the dust mass growth by accreting materials in the interstellar medium

Ryosuke S. Asano, Tsutomu T. Takeuchi, Hiroyuki Hirashita, Akio K. Inoue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

101 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper investigates the main driver of dust mass growth in the interstellar medium (ISM) by using a chemical evolution model of a galaxy with metals (elements heavier than helium) in the dust phase, in addition to the total amount of metals. We consider asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars, type II supernovae (SNe II), and dust mass growth in the ISM, as the sources of dust, and SN shocks as the destruction mechanism of dust. Furthermore, to describe the dust evolution precisely, our model takes into account the age and metallicity (the ratio of metal mass to ISM mass) dependence of the sources of dust. We have particularly focused on the dust mass growth, and found that in the ISM this is regulated by the metallicity. To quantify this aspect, we introduce a "critical metallicity", which is the metallicity at which the contribution of stars (AGB stars and SNe II) equals that of the dust mass growth in the ISM. If the star-formation timescale is shorter, the value of the critical metallicity is higher, but the galactic age at which the metallicity reaches the critical metallicity is shorter. From observations, it was expected that the dust mass growth was the dominant source of dust in the Milky Way and dusty QSOs at high redshifts. By introducing a critical metallicity, it is clearly shown that the dust mass growth is the main source of dust in such galaxies with various star-formation timescales and ages. The dust mass growth in the ISM is regulated by metallicity, and we emphasize that the critical metallicity serves as an indicator to judge whether the grain growth in the ISM is the dominant source of dust in a galaxy, especially because of the strong, and nonlinear, dependence on the metallicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-222
Number of pages10
JournalEarth, Planets and Space
Volume65
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Dust
  • Extinction
  • Galaxies: Evolution
  • Galaxies: Infrared
  • Galaxies: Starourst
  • Stars: Rormation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Space and Planetary Science

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