AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 40 Galaxies
Poster, Tuesday, June 1, 2004, 10:00am-7:00pm, Ballroom

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[40.05] HST Paschen-\alpha Imaging of SINGS (Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey) Galaxies.

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

We present near-infrared images of the centers of 27 galaxies from the SINGS (the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey) sample, obtained with HST/NICMOS in the H-band and Paschen-\alpha line emission. The Paschen-\alpha images provide nearly--extinction--insensitive maps of the massive star formation rate (SFR) in the dusty cores of the galaxies, while the H-band images trace the stellar mass distribution. We combine these data with ground--based H\alpha images to investigate: the degree to which existing H\alpha surveys have been biased by extinction; the properties of star formation in high--density (high--extinction) environments; and the luminosity function of the circumnuclear HII regions.

This project was funded by the NASA-HST grant GO-9360.

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