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J. M. Mazzarella, J. H. Howell, S. Lord, J. A. Surace, D. T. Frayer, B. Schulz, C. Xu, P. Appleton, L. Armus (Caltech), A. S. Evans (Stony Brook U.), D. B. Sanders (IfA, U. Hawaii), C. M. Ishida (Subaru), J. B. Jensen (Gemini), S. Veilleux, D.-C. Kim (U. Maryland), G. Bothun (U. Oregon), B. F. Madore (OCIW & Caltech)
A complete sample of over 200 luminous infrared galaxies (LIRGs; Lir > 1011 LSun) and ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs; Lir > 1012 LSun) selected from the IRAS Revised Bright Galaxy Sample (60 micron flux density > 5.24 Jy) is being investigated using the full imaging capabilities of the Spitzer Space Telescope. The superb sensitivity and spatial resolution of IRAC and MIPS are providing new information about the physical properties of star formation and the interstellar medium in this large, statistically complete, flux-limited sample of LIRGs and ULIRGs. Individual galaxies and sub-components such as disks, arms and tidal features in dozens of interacting and merging systems have been resolved for the first time at mid-infrared wavelengths. Initial results include the spatial distribution of warm and cool dust emission with respect to the old stellar populations, detection of PAH emission from star-forming knots, ring formations, and tidal features, and statistical trends in a preliminary photometric analysis involving a series of metric apertures matched according to the estimated distance of each system.
This work is based on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA. Support for this work was provided by NASA through an award issued by JPL/Caltech.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.