AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 82 Star Formation and Early Results from Spitzer
Oral, Thursday, June 3, 2004, 10:00-11:30am, 603/605/607

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[82.03] Mid-Infrared IRS Spectroscopy of NGC 7331: A First Look at the SINGS Legacy

J.D.T. Smith (U of Arizona), D.A. Dale (U of Wyoming), B.T. Draine (Princeton), D.J. Hollenbach (NASA Ames), L. Armus, G. Helou, T.H. Jarrett, H. Roussel (SSC, Caltech), R.C. Kennicutt, G. Bendo, K.D. Gordon, C.W. Engelbracht, A. Li, G.H. Rieke, M.J. Rieke (U of Arizona), D. Calzetti, C. Leitherer, S. Malhotra, M.J. Meyer, M.W. Regan (STScI), E.J. Murphy (Yale), L. Kewley (CfA), M.D. Thornley (Bucknell), F. Walter (NRAO), M.G. Wolfire (U of Maryland)

We present first results of Spitzer spectroscopy of the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 7331 from SINGS, the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey. Spitzer's Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) was used to spectrally map various-sized regions centered on the nucleus, and covering the prominent star-forming ring. We highlight the discovery of a new broad PAH band at 17.1\micron, which is nearly half as strong as the ubiquitous 11.3\micron\ feature. We also explore the excitation source of NGC 7331's LINER nucleus using spatially resolved [O\textsc{iv}] emission, uncover variations on kpc scales in the PAH feature band strengths from the spectral cubes, and constrain H\textsc{ii} region and PDR density and incident ultraviolet field intensity using fine structure and H2 lines. This work highlights how the sensitivity and versatility of the IRS will lead to new insights into the physical processes that dominate gas and dust behavior in the full range of galactic environments.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: jdsmith@as.arizona.edu

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