AAS 198th Meeting, June 2001
Session 8. Normal Galaxies: Stellar Pops, ISM and Dynamics
Display, Monday, June 4, 2001, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[8.04] SQIID Imaging of the M 33 Core

E. Polomski, R. D. Gehrz, R. Humphreys, C. E. Woodward, T. J. Jones, J. Lyke, K. Eicher (University of Minnesota), S. Willner, P. Barmby, J. Huchra, S. Strom (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)

We have initiated a program of high spatial resolution infrared mapping of M 33 as part of a study of the stellar populations of nearby spiral galaxies. M 33 is one of the two nearest spiral galaxies, and is oriented nearly face-on, providing a unique opportunity for a comprehensive survey of its population. Large scale surveys in the infrared can penetrate the interstellar obscuration in M 33 and give a more complete assessment of the various stellar components than optical observations. Near-IR colors can also distinguish between different evolutionary classes, such as pre-main sequence stars, red supergiants, Asymptotic Giant Branch stars, and main sequence objects.

We present here the first results of this program; near-IR J, H, and K band maps of M 33, obtained with the SQIID imager at KPNO. We focus on the core, ~5\times5', region of M 33, and show near-IR colors for the sources in this region, as well as the central engine. Our maps complement those from the 2MASS survey, but go 5 magnitudes deeper (K ~ 20) and achieve better spatial resolution (FWHM < 2\arcsec).

These maps will provide the foundation for upcoming SIRTF observations which will involve temporal studies of the same region in the mid and far-IR. The reduced data from our JHK survey will be placed in a publicly available database when the project is complete.

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