A new database of observed spectral energy distributions of nearby starburst galaxies from the ultraviolet to the far-infrared

W. U. Wentao, Louisiana State University
Geoffrey C. Clayton, Louisiana State University
Karl D. Gordon, The University of Arizona
Karl A. Misselt, The University of Arizona
Tract L. Smith, Louisiana State University
Daniela Calzetti, Space Telescope Science Institute


We present a database of UV-to-FIR data of 83 nearby starburst galaxies. The galaxies are selected based upon the availability of IUE data. We have recalibrated the IUE UV spectra for these galaxies by incorporating the most recent improvements. For 45 of these galaxies we use observations by Storchi-Bergmann et al. and McQuade et al. for the spectra in the optical range. The NIR data are from new observations obtained at the NASA/IRTF and the Mount Laguna Observatory, combined with the published results from observations at the Kitt Peak National Observatory. In addition, published calibrated ISO data are included to provide mid-IR flux densities for some of the galaxies. The optical-to-IR data are matched as closely as possible to the IUE large aperture. In conjunction with IRAS and ISO FIR flux densities, all these data form a set of observed spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of the nuclear regions of nearby starburst galaxies. The SEDs should be useful in studying star formation and dust/gas attenuation in galaxies. We also present the magnitudes in the standard BVRI and various HST/WFPC2 bandpasses synthesized from the UV and optical wavelength ranges of these SEDs. For some of the galaxies, the HST/ WFPC2 magnitudes synthesized from the SEDs are checked with those directly measured from WFPC2 images to test the photometric errors of the optical data and their effective matching of apertures with the UV data. The implications of the new SEDs on the star formation rates and dust/gas attenuation are briefly discussed.