The ISOPHOT 170 micron serendipity sky survey: A plea to FIRST
Beichman, Charles A.
Kessler, Martin F.
Richter, Gotthard M.
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The ISOPHOT Serendipity Survey utilized the slew time between ISO's pointed observations with strip scanning measurements of the sky in the far-infrared (FIR) at 170μm. The integral 170μm fluxes for compact sources derived from the slews are put on an absolute flux level by using a number of galaxies as calibrator sources observed with ISOPHOT's photometric mapping mode, supplemented by Serendipity Survey observations of two planets and two asteroids with available model fluxes. A first group of 115 well-observed sources with a high signal-to-noise ratio in all four detector pixels having a galaxy association were extracted from the slew data with low (I100μm ≤ 15 MJy/sr) cirrus background. For all but a few galaxies, the 170μm fluxes are determined for the first time, which represents a significant increase in the number of galaxies with measured FIR fluxes beyond the IRAS 100μm limit. The large fraction of sources with a high F170μm/F100μm flux ratio indicates that a very cold (T < 20 K) dust component is present in many galaxies. The typical mass of the coldest dust component is MDust = 107.5 ± 0.5 M⊙, a factor 2 - 10 larger than that derived from IRAS fluxes alone. As a consequence, the gas-to-dust ratios are much closer to the canonical value for the Milky Way. A similar Serendipity Survey with FIRST has the prospects of delivering FIR data with a much higher angular resolution (PACS) or at longer wavelengths (SPIRE) than ISOPHOT, thereby providing either crucial information for the identification of compact sources in confused regions or extending the spectral coverage for a large number of sources and finding rare classes of very cold FIR emitters.