AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 53. Star Formation and Evolution of Elements in Galaxies
Oral, Thursday, January 7, 1999, 10:00-11:00am, Room 9 (A and B)

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[53.01] Brackett Gamma as a Star Formation Indicator

L. V. Jones, R. J. Elston (U. Florida)

We will present the first results of a Brackett Gamma (Br\gamma, \lambda=2.165 \mum) imaging study of nearby spiral galaxies. The long wavelength of Br\gamma allows us to probe deeper into star forming regions than ever before. The Br\gamma emission line is optically thin even in heavily obscured HII regions due to its long wavelength. In the context of the nearby galaxy NGC 2403, we will discuss the utility of Br\gamma as a star formation indicator. We present a comparison of Br\gamma, H\alpha (\lambda=0.6563 \mum), Pa\beta (\lambda=1.2818\mum), [OIII] (\lambda=0.5007\mum), and FIR (IRAS) images. In addition, we will compare these data with Br\gamma and Pa\beta spectroscopy.

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