Comprehensive comparison of models for spectral energy distributions from 0.1 μ m to 1 mm of nearby star-forming galaxies

L. K. Hunt, I. De Looze, M. Boquien, R. Nikutta, A. Rossi, S. Bianchi, D. A. Dale, G. L. Granato, R. C. Kennicutt, L. Silva, L. Ciesla, M. Relaño, S. Viaene, B. Brandl, D. Calzetti, K. V. Croxall, B. T. Draine, M. Galametz, K. D. Gordon, B. A. GrovesG. Helou, R. Herrera-Camus, J. L. Hinz, J. Koda, S. Salim, K. M. Sandstrom, J. D. Smith, C. D. Wilson, S. Zibetti

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68 Scopus citations


We have fit the far-ultraviolet (FUV) to sub-millimeter (850 μm) spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of the 61 galaxies from the Key Insights on Nearby Galaxies: A Far-Infrared Survey with Herschel (KINGFISH). The fitting has been performed using three models: the Code for Investigating GALaxy Evolution (CIGALE), the GRAphite-SILicate approach (GRASIL), and the Multiwavelength Analysis of Galaxy PHYSical properties (MAGPHYS). We have analyzed the results of the three codes in terms of the SED shapes, and by comparing the derived quantities with simple "recipes" for stellar mass (M star ), star-formation rate (SFR), dust mass (M dust ), and monochromatic luminosities. Although the algorithms rely on different assumptions for star-formation history, dust attenuation and dust reprocessing, they all well approximate the observed SEDs and are in generally good agreement for the associated quantities. However, the three codes show very different behavior in the mid-infrared regime: in the 5-10 μm region dominated by PAH emission, and also between 25 and 70 μm where there are no observational constraints for the KINGFISH sample. We find that different algorithms give discordant SFR estimates for galaxies with low specific SFR, and that the standard recipes for calculating FUV absorption overestimate the extinction compared to the SED-fitting results. Results also suggest that assuming a "standard" constant stellar mass-to-light ratio overestimates M star relative to the SED fitting, and we provide new SED-based formulations for estimating M star from WISE W1 (3.4 μm) luminosities and colors. From a principal component analysis of M star , SFR, M dust , and O/H, we reproduce previous scaling relations among M star , SFR, and O/H, and find that M dust can be predicted to within ∼0.3 dex using only M star and SFR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA51
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Galaxies: ISM
  • Galaxies: fundamental parameters
  • Galaxies: spiral
  • Galaxies: star formation
  • Infrared: galaxies
  • Ultraviolet: galaxies


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