WFPC2 Observations of the Nuclear Starburst in NGC~253

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Session 75 -- Interacting Galaxies and Starbursts
Display presentation, Wednesday, 11, 1995, 9:20am - 6:30pm

[75.12] WFPC2 Observations of the Nuclear Starburst in NGC~253

A. M. Watson (Lowell Observatory), J. S. Gallagher (University of Wisconsin -- Madison), J. J. Hester, P. A. Scowen (Arizona State University), G. E. Ballester (University of Michigan), C. J. Burrows (STScI and ESA), S. Casertano (Johns Hopkins University), J. T. Clarke (University of Michigan), D. Crisp (JPL), R. W. Evans (JPL), R. E. Griffiths (Johns Hopkins University), J. G. Hoessel (University of Wisconsin -- Madison), J. A. Holtzman (Lowell Observatory), J. R. Mould (Australian National University), K. R. Stapelfeldt (JPL), J. T. Trauger (JPL), and J. A. Westphal (Caltech)

We present UVRI and H$\alpha$ images of the nuclear starburst in NGC 253, a barred spiral galaxy located at a distance of only 3~Mpc. We resolve the nuclear region into many star-forming complexes, most of which are themselves resolved for the first time and have typical diameters of up to about 5~pc. We also resolve the brightest stars in the circumnuclear region. The H$\alpha$ emission lies in a fan to the SE of the nucleus, and both it and dust absorption has a distinctive radial filamentary structure. This is probably the result of the superwind being driven by the starburst.

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