PI: Katie Chynoweth, Vanderbilt University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Physics Department, VU Station B 351807, Nashvile, TN 37235-1807, USA
CoI: Robert Knop, Vanderbilt University
CoI: Rachel Gibbons, Vanderbilt University
Title: Exploring the Merger/Starburst/AGN Connection in Nearby Infrared- Luminous Galaxies
Abstract: We propose to explore the connection between galaxy interactions, starburst activity, and (in a few cases) AGN activity by obtaining spatially resolved optical spectroscopy of a sample of 11 infrared- luminous galaxies. The targets are chosen from the IRAS Bright Galaxy Sample (BGS), all of which show evidence for an ongoing starburst. Additionally, many of these galaxies are advanced mergers, or show clear signs of strong interactions. The kinematics of these galaxies are complicated, and many of them have significant off-nuclear star formation activity. We plan to use the DensePak Fiber Array on the WIYN 3.5m telescope to obtain spectra across the entire face of each galaxy system. These data in combination with similar data obtained for southern galaxies will contribute to understanding of interacting galaxies, galaxy evolution, and star formation. We will use line ratios, velocities, and profile as a means of tracing the dynamics of the gas, the age, strength, and progress of starburst activity throughout the system, and (for those few galaxies that show it) dynamical processes (e.g. outflows) arising from a central AGN.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360