NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2007B-0365

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Proposal Information for 2007B-0365


PI: James Pizagno, Stony Brook University, jpizagno@zwicky.astro.sunysb.edu
Address: Physics Department, Earth and Space Sciences Building, Stony Brook, New York 11794, USA

CoI: Aaron Evans, Stony Brook University
CoI: Tatjana Vavilkin, Stony Brook University

Title: Final State of Galaxy Interactions: Velocity Fields of LIRGs

Abstract: We are investigating the mergers of Luminous Infrared Galaxies (L_IR > 10^11 L_\odot ; LIRGs) selected from the Revised Bright Galaxy Sample, having follow-up HST and Spitzer imaging data. These LIRGs represent an important phase of galaxy evolution (gas-rich mergers turning into early and late-type galaxies), and studying their dynamics is essential in understanding the amount of gas available for feeding AGN feeding, and the final state of mergers in a hierarchical build-up scenario of galaxy formation. Our imaging data provides a high spatial resolution snap-shot of the current state of the interaction, but does not provide an estimation of the dynamical timescale of the interaction without velocity information. We propose SparsePak/WIYN observations of 9 LIRGs to test for bulk flows of ionized gas in these LIRGs. SparsePak observations will provide H_(alpha) velocity centroids that will allow us to study the spatial extent and kinematics of ionized gas in LIRGs on spatial scales as large at 1 arcmin, where the velocity fields of tidal arms may indicate material being expelled from the system, and inner regions where infalling gas may elucidate the effect interactions have on AGN fueling and galaxy morphology. CO observations are too inefficient to obtain velocity information for a sample of galaxies of this size and angular extent, and do not sample the outer parts of the LIRGs.


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