To be published in "The Spectral Energy Distribution of
Gas-Rich Galaxies: Confronting Models with Data", Proceedings of the
International Workshop held 4-8 October 2004 in Heidelberg, 4-8
Oct. 2004, Edited by Cristina C. Popescu and Richard J. Tuffs, AIP
For a PDF version of the article, click
For a PDF version of the article, click here.
Abstract. We give an overview of the factors shaping the ultraviolet (UV)/optical - far-infrared (FIR)/submillimeter (submm) spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of normal (non-starburst) galaxies. Particular emphasis is placed on the influence of the geometry of dust and stars on the propagation of light through the interstellar medium. Although strong constraints can be placed on the amount and large scale distribution of dust in disks from the appearance of the galaxies in the optical/UV range, this dust does not account for the observed amplitude and colour of the FIR/submm radiation. Additional, optically thick components of dust associated with the young stellar population on large and small scales are required to account for the complete UV/optical - FIR/submm SEDs. Self-consistent models for the calculation of SEDs of spiral galaxies are reviewed, and their predictions for the dust emission and the attenuation of starlight are compared and contrasted.
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