2MASS Large Galaxy Atlas
Accepted for Publication in the Astronomical Journal
We present the largest galaxies as seen in the near-infrared (1 to 2 µm), imaged with the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), ranging in angular size from 2 arcmin to 1.5 degrees. We highlight the 100 largest in the sample. The galaxies span all Hubble morphological types, including ellipticals, normal and barred spirals, dwarf and peculiar classes. The 2MASS Large Galaxy Atlas provides the necessary sensitivity and angular resolution to examine in detail morphologies in the near-infrared which may be radically different from that in the optical. Internal structures such as spirals, bulges, warps, rings, bars and star formation regions are resolved by 2MASS. In addition to large mosaic images, the 2MASS Large Galaxy Atlas includes astrometric, photometric and shape global measurements for each galaxy. A comparison of fundamental measures (e.g., surface brightness, Hubble type) is carried out for the sample and compared with the RC3. We further showcase NGC 253 and M51 (NGC 5194/95) to demonstrate the quality and depth of the data. The ATLAS represents the first uniform, all sky, dust-penetrated view of galaxies of every type, as seen in the near-infrared wavelength window that is most sensitive to the dominant mass component of galaxies. The images and catalogs are available through the NASA Extragalactic Database (NED) and Infrared Science Archive (IRSA), and are part of the 2MASS Extended Source Catalog.
Key words: galaxies: statistics--- galaxies: photometry--- galaxies: general --- galaxies: fundamental parameters---infrared: galaxies---clusters: individual---M51, NGC253: globular--- astronomical databases: surveys --- astronomical databases: atlases