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Physics  2003 

The Dust in Lyman Break Galaxies

DOI: 10.1086/368344

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We present our analysis of UV attenuation by internal dust of a large sample (N=906 galaxies) of Lyman Break Galaxies (LBGs). Using spectral energy distributions (SEDs) from the P\'EGASE galaxy spectral evolution model we apply dust attenuation corrections to the G-R colors using the Witt & Gordon (2000) models for radiative transfer in dusty galactic environments to arrive at the UV attenuation factors. We show that the dust in the LBGs exhibit SMC-like characteristics rather than MW-like, and that the dust geometry in these systems is most likely to be represented by a clumpy shell configuration. We show that the attenuation factor exhibits a pronounced dependence on the luminosity of the LBG, $a_{1600}\propto (L/L_\sun)^\alpha$, where $0.5\leq\alpha\leq1.5$. The exponent $\alpha$ depends on the initial parameters of the stellar population chosen to model the galaxies and the dust properties. We find that the luminosity weighted average attenuation factor is likely to be in the range from $5.7-18.5$, which is consistent with the upper limits to the star formation rate at $2


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