AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 104. Dust and Star Formation in Galaxies
Display, Saturday, January 15, 2000, 9:20am-4:00pm, Grand Hall

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[104.09] NICMOS Imaging of the Most Luminous Infrared Galaxies

D.C. Hines, F.J. Low (Steward Observatory), A.S. Evans (SUNY at Stony Brook), R.I. Thompson (Steward Observatory), N.Z. Scoville (CalTech), M.J. Rieke (Steward Observatory)

High fidelity, NICMOS images are presented of a sample of Hyperluminous and ``Warm'' Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxies, each of which has been shown previously to harbor a luminous QSO. The central regions are red and become more compact with increasing wavelength; the objects contain point-like nuclei at 2.1\mum. The host galaxies show tidal distortions, and 80% reveal nearby companions after point-source subtraction. The companions and tidal distortions suggest that interactions are important in the generation of the enormous infrared luminosities.

This work is supported by NASA grant NAG 5-3042. This paper is based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. under NASA contract NAS5-26555.

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