The spitzer local volume legacy: Survey description and infrared photometry

D. A. Dale, S. A. Cohen, L. C. Johnson, M. D. Schuster, D. Calzetti, C. W. Engelbracht, A. Gil De Paz, R. C. Kennicutt, J. C. Lee, A. Begum, M. Block, J. J. Dalcanton, J. G. Funes, K. D. Gordon, B. D. Johnson, A. R. Marble, S. Sakai, E. D. Skillman, L. Van Zee, F. WalterD. R. Weisz, B. Williams, S. Y. Wu, Y. Wu

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The survey description and the near-, mid-, and far-infrared flux properties are presented for the 258 galaxies in the Local Volume Legacy (LVL). LVL is a Spitzer Space Telescope legacy program that surveys the local universe out to 11 Mpc, built upon a foundation of ultraviolet, Hα, and Hubble Space Telescope imaging from 11HUGS (11 Mpc Hα and Ultraviolet Galaxy Survey) and ANGST (ACS Nearby Galaxy Survey Treasury). LVL covers an unbiased, representative, and statistically robust sample of nearby star-forming galaxies, exploiting the highest extragalactic spatial resolution achievable with Spitzer. As a result of its approximately volume-limited nature, LVL augments previous Spitzer observations of present-day galaxies with improved sampling of the low-luminosity galaxy population. The collection of LVL galaxies shows a large spread in mid-infrared colors, likely due to the conspicuous deficiency of 8 μm polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emission from low-metallicity, low-luminosity galaxies. Conversely, the far-infrared emission tightly tracks the total infrared emission, with a dispersion in their flux ratio of only 0.1 dex. In terms of the relation between the infrared-to-ultraviolet ratio and the ultraviolet spectral slope, the LVL sample shows redder colors and/or lower infrared-to-ultraviolet ratios than starburst galaxies, suggesting that reprocessing by dust is less important in the lower mass systems that dominate the LVL sample. Comparisons with theoretical models suggest that the amplitude of deviations from the relation found for starburst galaxies correlates with the age of the stellar populations that dominate the ultraviolet/optical luminosities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-556
Number of pages40
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Galaxies: photometry
  • Infrared: galaxies
  • Surveys


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