Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 1996. 34: 749-792
Copyright © 1996 by Annual Reviews Inc. All rights reserved

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LUMINOUS INFRARED GALAXIES

D. B. Sanders

Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822

I. F. Mirabel

Service d'Astrophysique, Centre d'Etudes de Saclay, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France


KEY WORDS: luminosity function, starbursts, active galactic nuclei, molecular gas, dust emission


ABSTRACT. At luminosities above 1011 Lsmsun, infrared galaxies become the dominant population of extragalactic objects in the local Universe (z ltapprox 0.3), being more numerous than optically selected starburst and Seyfert galaxies and quasi-stellar objects at comparable bolometric luminosity. The trigger for the intense infrared emission appears to be the strong interaction/merger of molecular gas-rich spirals, and the bulk of the infrared luminosity for all but the most luminous objects is due to dust heating from an intense starburst within giant molecular clouds. At the highest luminosities (Lir > 1012 Lsmsun), nearly all objects appear to be advanced mergers powered by a mixture of circumnuclear starburst and active galactic nucleus energy sources, both of which are fueled by an enormous concentration of molecular gas that has been funneled into the merger nucleus. These ultraluminous infrared galaxies may represent an important stage in the formation of quasi-stellar objects and powerful radio galaxies. They may also represent a primary stage in the formation of elliptical galaxy cores, the formation of globular clusters, and the metal enrichment of the intergalactic medium.


Table of Contents

ball2INTRODUCTION

ball2BACKGROUND
ball2Pre-IRAS
ball2Early IRAS Results

ball2REDSHIFT SURVEYS
ball2Luminosity Functions
ball2Spectral Energy Distributions

ball2PROPERTIES OF LUMINOUS INFRARED GALAXIES
ball2Optical and Near-Infrared Imaging
ball2Optical and Near-Infrared Spectroscopy
ball2Mid- and Far-Infrared (Post-IRAS) Observations
ball2Submillimeter Continuum
ball2Radio Continuum
ball2Gas Content
ball2High-Energy Observations

ball2ORIGIN AND EVOLUTION OF LUMINOUS INFRARED GALAXIES
ball2Strong Interactions and Mergers
ball2Case Studies

ball2ASSOCIATED PHENOMENA
ball2Formation of Ellipticals
ball2Formation of Star Clusters
ball2Formation of Dwarf Galaxies
ball2Enrichment of the Intergalactic Medium

ball2THEORETICAL MODELS

ball2SUMMARY

ball2REFERENCES

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