An extremely low gas-to-dust ratio in the dust-lane lenticular galaxy NGC 5485

Gianfranco Gentile

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence is mounting that a significant fraction of the early-type galaxy population contains substantial reservoirs of cold interstellar gas and dust. We investigate the gas and dust in NGC 5485, an early-type galaxy with a prominent minor-axis dust lane. Using new Herschel PACS and SPIRE imaging data, we detect 3.8 × 106?M? of cool interstellar dust in NGC 5485, which is in stark contrast with the non-detection of the galaxy in sensitive H?i and CO observations from the ATLAS3D consortium. The resulting gas-to-dust ratio upper limit is Mgas/Md <14.5, almost an order of magnitude lower than the canonical value for the Milky Way. We scrutinize the reliability of the dust, atomic gas and molecular gas mass estimates, but these do not show systematic uncertainties that can explain the extreme gas-to-dust ratio. Also a warm or hot ionized gas medium does not offer an explanation. A possible scenario could be that NGC 5485 merged with an SMC-type metal-poor galaxy with a substantial CO-dark molecular gas component and that the bulk of atomic gas was lost during the interaction, but it remains to be investigated whether such a scenario is possible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L90-L94
Number of pages4
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2014


  • galaxies: individual: NGC 5485
  • galaxies: ISM

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