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The Herschel Virgo Cluster Survey: III. A constraint on dust grain lifetime in early-type galaxies

M. Clemens, A. Jones, A. Bressan, M. Baes, G. J. Bendo, S. Bianchi, D. J. Bomans, A. Boselli, E. Corbelli, L. Cortese, A. Dariush, J. Davies, I. De Looze, S. Di Serego Alighieri, D. Fadda, J. Fritz, D. A. Garcia-Appadoo, G. Gavazzi, C. Giovanardi, M. Grossi, T. Hughes, L. K. Hunt, S. C. Madden, D. Pierini, M. Pohlen, S. Sabatini, M. W. L. Smith, J. Verstappen, C. Vlahakis, E. M. Xilouris, S. Zibetti

Passive early-type galaxies(ETGs) provide an ideal laboratory for studying the interplay between dust formation around evolved stars and its subsequent destruction in a hot gas. Using Spitzer-IRS and Herschel data we compare the dust production rate in the envelopes of evolved AGB stars with a constraint on the total dust mass. Early-type galaxies which appear to be truly passively evolving are not detected by Herschel. We thus derive a distance independent upper limit to the dust grain survival time in the hostile environment of ETGs of< 46±25 Myr for amorphous silicate grains. This implies that ETGs which are detected at far-infrared wavelengths have acquired a cool dusty medium via interaction. Given likely time-scales for ram-pressure stripping, this also implies that only galaxies with dust in a cool(atomic) medium can release dust into the intra-cluster medium. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA

galaxies: elliptical: and: lenticular- cD - galaxies: ISM - infrared: galaxies

Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume 518, Number of pages L50_1
2010 July

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia