NASA/IPAC EXTRAGALACTIC DATABASE
Date and Time of the Query: 2018-10-18 T10:34:34 PDT
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For refcode 2004ApJS..154..193W:
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Copyright by American Astronomical Society. Reproduced by permission
2004ApJS..154..193W The Off-Nuclear Starbursts in NGC 4038/4039 (The Antennae Galaxies) Z. Wang, G. G. Fazio, M. L. N. Ashby, J.-S. Huang, M. A. Pahre, H. A. Smith, S. P. Willner, W. J. Forrest, J. L. Pipher, and J. A. Surace Abstract. Imaging of the Antennae galaxies (NGC 4038/4039) with the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) aboard the Spitzer Space Telescope reveals large concentrations of star-forming activity away from both nuclei of the two merging galaxies. These images confirm earlier findings based on Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) data with lower angular resolution. The short-wavelength emission shows numerous compact sources identified as stellar clusters. At the longer wavelengths, bright, more amorphous and filamentary features correlate well with the known distributions of denser gas, warm dust, and H II regions. There are also fainter, more diffuse components at all wavelengths that permeate the entire region and extend into the two tidal tails. Nonstellar dust emission dominates the 5.8 and 8.0 microns images, accounting for as much as 79% of the light at 5.8 microns and 95% at 8 microns, averaged over the entire galaxy. Assuming that the nonstellar emission traces star formation, the IRAC data provide a view into the total underlying star-forming activities unaffected by obscuration. Using the flux ratio of nonstellar to stellar emission as a guide, we map the local star formation rate in the Antennae and compare that to similar measurements in both normal and infrared-luminous galaxies. This rate in the active regions is found to be as high as those seen in starburst and some ultraluminous infrared galaxies on a "per unit mass" basis. The two galactic centers actually have lower star-forming rates than the off-nuclear regions despite the presence of abundant dense gas and dust, suggesting that the latter is a necessary but not sufficient condition for ongoing star formation. Keywords: Galaxies: Individual: NGC 4038/4039, Galaxies: Interactions, Galaxies: Starburst, Infrared: Galaxies, Stars: Formation
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