Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published September 2001 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

High-Resolution Mid-Infrared Imaging of Infrared-Luminous Starburst Galaxies


Observations for seven infrared-luminous starburst galaxies are reported in the mid-infrared from 8 to 18 μm using the Keck telescopes with spatial resolution approaching the diffraction limit. All of the galaxies observed show evidence of strong interactions based on optical morphologies. For these galaxies, a substantial fraction, usually more than 50%, of the infrared luminosity is generated in regions ranging in sizes from 100 pc to 1 kpc. Nuclear starbursts often dominate the infrared luminosity, but this is not always true. In some galaxies, most notably NGC 6090, substantial infrared luminosity greatly in excess of the nuclear luminosity is generated in regions associated with the physical interaction between two galaxies. The radio emission is a good tracer of the location of high-luminosity young stars. The visual/ultraviolet radiation output of the nearby star-forming galaxies is dominated by emission from regions that are generally not producing the copious infrared luminosity of the systems. As seen in comparing the mid-infrared and near-infrared images of the galaxies observed here, the regions of high-infrared luminosity in local galaxies are significantly smaller than the galaxies as a whole. The integrated spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of these galaxies are very different from the SEDs of the regions of star formation. If the SEDs of star-forming regions in these galaxies reflect the SEDs that would be found in forming galaxies at high redshift, we would expect the distant galaxies to be dominated by the mid- and far-infrared luminosity output far more than the integrated luminous output of nearby starburst galaxies would suggest.

Additional Information

© 2001. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2001 March 25. Accepted 2001 June 6. We thank J. Aycock, T. Stickel, G. Wirth, R. Campbell, and Lee Armus for assistance with the observations. Barbara Jones, Rick Puetter, and the Keck team brought the long wavelength spectrograph (LWS) into service, enabling many of these observations. We thank Marcia Rieke and Susan Neff for providing data for NGC 3690, 6090, and 1614. Vassilis Charmandaris provided advice about ISO observations of VV 114. Joe Mazzarella provided us with data from NED, Tom Jarrett provided data from 2MASS, and Aaron Evans provided images from NICMOS. We also thank an anonymous referee for critical comments on this paper. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. B. T. S., G. N., K. M., and E. E. are supported by grants from the NSF and NASA. B. T. S. and S. S. are supported by the SIRTF Science Center at Caltech. SIRTF is carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. N. Z. S. was supported by NASA grant NAG 5-3042. This work was carried out in part (M. R.) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is operated by the California Institute of Technology under agreement with NASA. The development of MIRLIN was supported by NASA's Office of Space Science. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (J. J. C.) is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by the Associated Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc.

Attached Files

Published - Soifer_2001_AJ_122_1213.pdf

Submitted - 0106172__1_.pdf


Files (1.8 MB)
Name Size Download all
795.3 kB Preview Download
1.0 MB Preview Download

Additional details

August 21, 2023
March 5, 2024