AAS 197, January 2001
Session 79. Nearby Galaxies II
Display, Wednesday, January 10, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[79.04] HST Observations of IRAS 15179+3956, an Interacting Galaxy Pair in the Bootes Void

S. Cruzen, T. Wehr (Columbus State), D. Weistrop, C. Nelson (UNLV), R. Angione (SDSU)

We present analysis of broadband (U, V, I) images of the asymmetric Bootes Void galaxy IRAS 15179+3956, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope's WFPC2 camera. We also include a discussion of optical spectroscopy from Mount Laguna Observatory. Ground-based optical (Cruzen, et. al. 1997) and radio observations (Sage et. al. 1997) have suggested that this system is an interacting pair. It exhibits very blue broadband colors, a strong emission-line spectrum, and is reported to be an OH megamaser (Bottinelli, et. al. 1989, Baan et. al. 1998), all suggesting violent star formation.

Our WFPC2 images clearly confirm that this system is an interacting pair, with the southern-most galaxy exhibiting a greatly disturbed morphology and an extended tidal tail. The broadband colors identify regions of enhanced star-formation within the two galaxies. The starburst models of Leitherer et al. (1999) are compared with the colors and equivalent widths of emission lines to place constraints on the age of the star-formation episodes. We describe the morphologies of both galaxies and discuss the effects of the tidal interaction. The cosmological implications of interacting galaxies in low-density environments are also discussed.

This work has been supported in part by NASA under contract NAS5-31231, and through the Nevada Space Grant Consortium. Mount Laguna Observatory is operated jointly by San Diego State University and the University of Illinois.

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