GALEX-SDSS-wise legacy catalog (GSWLC): Star formation rates, stellar masses, and dust attenuations of 700,000 low-redshift galaxies

Samir Salim, Janice C. Lee, Steven Janowiecki, Elisabete Da Cunha, Mark Dickinson, Médéric Boquien, Denis Burgarella, John J. Salzer, Stéphane Charlot

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    255 Citations (Scopus)


    In this paper, we present the GALEX-SDSS-WISE Legacy Catalog (GSWLC), a catalog of physical properties (stellar masses, dust attenuations, and star formation rates [SFRs]) for ∼700,000 galaxies with Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) redshifts below 0.3. GSWLC contains galaxies within the Galaxy Evolution Explorer footprint, regardless of a UV detection, covering 90% of SDSS. The physical properties were obtained from UV/optical spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting following Bayesian methodology of Salim et al., with improvements such as blending corrections for low-resolution UV photometry, flexible dust attenuation laws, and emission-line corrections. GSWLC also includes mid-IR SFRs derived from IR templates based on 22 Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer observations. These estimates are independent of UV/optical SED fitting, in order to separate possible systematics. The paper argues that the comparison of specific SFRs (sSFRs) is more informative and physically motivated than the comparison of SFRs. The sSFRs resulting from the UV/optical SED fitting are compared to the mid-IR sSFRs and to sSFRs from three published catalogs. For "main-sequence" galaxies with no active galactic nucleus (AGN) all sSFRs are in very good agreement (within 0.1 dex on average). In particular, the widely used aperture-corrected SFRs from the MPA/JHU catalog show no systematic offsets, in contrast to some integral field spectroscopy results. For galaxies below the main sequence (log sSFR ), mid-IR (s)SFRs based on fixed luminosity-SFR conversion are severely biased (up to 2 dex) because the dust is primarily heated by old stars. Furthermore, mid-IR (s)SFRs are overestimated by up to 0.6 dex for galaxies with AGNs, presumably due to nonstellar dust heating. UV/optical (s)SFRs are thus preferred to IR-based (s)SFRs for quenched galaxies and those that host AGNs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2
    JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016


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