AAS 197, January 2001
Session 78. Nearby Galaxies I
Display, Wednesday, January 10, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[78.14] HST Observations of the Starburst-ISM Interaction in NGC 1569

P.L. Shopbell (Caltech), B.A. Buckalew, R.J. Dufour (Rice U.), D.K. Walter (SCSU)

We present narrowband HST imagery of the dwarf irregular starburst galaxy NGC 1569. The combination of this galaxy's proximity and the high spatial resolution of HST/WFPC2 provides us with an unprecedented look at the complex ionized gas distribution prevalent in such low-mass starburst systems. Following a recent successful search for massive Wolf-Rayet stars using these data, we now present a detailed study of the ionized gas morphology and excitation, using narrowband imagery at H\alpha, [OIII], and [SII] wavelengths. We also have obtained an image in the light of H\beta, with which we have measured and removed the effects of extinction in the observations. These data, in combination with ground-based slit spectra, radio maps of the cold gas component, and X-ray maps of the hot gas component, are allowing us to build a detailed picture of the interaction between the super star clusters of the starburst and the gaseous ISM. We present a number of results, including our confirmation of a fairly well-mixed ISM, some evidence for dust-depletion in regions near the starburst, and arguments for photoionization as the primary energizing mechanism for the ISM.

Support for this work was provided by NASA through grant number GO-08133.01-97A from the Space Telescope Science Institute.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: pls@astro.caltech.edu

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