AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 43 Galaxy Surveys and Galaxy Clusters
Poster, Tuesday, June 1, 2004, 10:00am-7:00pm, Ballroom

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[43.02] Deep Near-IR Imaging of Hickson Compact Groups: Galaxy Evolution during Acute Interactions

S. K. Slater, V. Charmandaris, M. P. Haynes (Cornell University)

We have obtained images of 26 Hickson Compact Groups of galaxies with sensitivities up to 22 mag/arcsec2 in the J, H, and Ks bands with the Wide-field Infrared Camera at the Hale 5 m telescope at Palomar Observatory. Near infrared imaging data can be used to map out the history of star formation and gravitational interactions and the relationship of this progression to the striking morphological disturbances of the galaxies of our sample. We have examined and correlated characteristics in the near infrared of the isophotal profiles and color distributions and compared these observations with those in optical and infrared wavelengths. A number of faint dwarf galaxies have also been identified in our images, allowing us to place stringent limits on their presence and permitting significantly better statistics on the faint end of the luminosity function of compact groups.

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