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Session 89 - Star-forming Galaxies.
Oral session, Friday, January 09
International Ballroom East,

[89.07] The H\alpha Structure and Kinematics of the Cartwheel Ring Galaxy

J. L. Higdon (CSIRO/ATNF), G. Cecil (UNC), J. Bland-Hawthorn (AAO), S. D. Lord (IPAC)

We have used the TAURUS-2 (AAO) imaging spectrograph and the OSIS (CFHT) high resolution imager to map the distribution and kinematics of ionized gas in the Cartwheel ring galaxy, including for the first time the faint H\alpha emission from its nucleus, inner-ring, and spokes. The TAURUS-2 velocity field reveals the flow of gas interior to the starburst outer-ring and its interaction with the inner-ring, where massive star formation (MSF) is found associated with two prominent dust lanes. We derive H\alpha luminosities and equivalent widths for over 100 star forming regions from the high resolution (0.8'' FWHM) OSIS image and characterize the HII region populations of the rings and spokes. We use this information to investigate the structure of the Cartwheel's disk, the factors regulating MSF on large scales, as well as the nature of the Cartwheel's enigmatic spokes.

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