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Published September 1, 1998 | Published
Journal Article Open

First Results from the ISO‐IRAS Faint Galaxy Survey


We present the first results from the ISO-IRAS Faint Galaxy Survey (IIFGS), a program designed to obtain ISO observations of the most distant and luminous galaxies in the IRAS Faint Source Survey by filling short gaps in the ISO observing schedule with pairs of 12 μm ISOCAM and 90 μm ISOPHOT observations. As of 1997 October, over 500 sources have been observed, with an ISOCAM detection rate over 80%, covering over 1.25 deg^2 of sky to an 11.5 μm point-source completeness limit of approximately 1.0 mJy (corresponding to a ~10 σ detection sensitivity). Observations are presented for nine sources detected by ISOPHOT and ISOCAM early in the survey for which we have ground-based G- and I-band images and optical spectroscopy. The ground-based data confirm that the IIFGS strategy efficiently detects moderate-redshift (z = 0.11-0.38 for this small sample) strong emission line galaxies with L_(60 μm) ≳ 10^(11) L_☉; one of our sample has L_(60 μm) > 10^(12) L_☉ (H_0 = 75 km s^(-1) Mpc^(-1), Ω = 1). The infrared-optical spectral energy distributions are comparable to those of nearby luminous infrared galaxies, which span the range from pure starburst (e.g., Arp 220) to infrared QSO (Mrk 231). Two of the systems show signs of strong interaction, and four show active galactic nucleus (AGN)-like excitation; one of the AGNs, F15390+6038, which shows a high excitation Seyfert 2 spectrum, has an unusually warm far- to mid-infrared color and may be an obscured QSO. The IIFGS sample is one of the largest and deepest samples of infrared-luminous galaxies available, promising to be a rich sample for studying infrared-luminous galaxies up to z ~ 1 and for understanding the evolution of infrared galaxies and the star formation rate in the universe.

Additional Information

© 1998 American Astronomical Society. Received 1997 November 24. Accepted 1998 April 3. We wish to thank the staff of Lick Observatory for supporting the optical observations reported here, especially Rem Stone for measuring the filter curves and also K. H. Smith for tireless assistance with the observations. The ISOCAM data presented in this paper were reduced using components of CIA, a joint development by the ESA Astrophysics Division and the ISOCAM Consortium led by the ISOCAM PI, C. Cesarsky, Direction des Sciences de la Matiere, CEA-Saclay, France. The ISOPHOT data were reduced using PIA, which is a joint development by the ESA Astrophysics Division and the ISOPHOT consortium. This project has benefited from the use of the NASA Extragalactic Database, supported at IPAC by NASA, and the STScI Digitized Sky Survey images of the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey. H. E. S. thanks IPAC for providing continuing support as a home away from home. IPAC/JPL is supported by NASA. Additional support of this project has been provided by NASA ISO grants to IPAC and to UCSD.

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