Kinematic Nuclear Masses of Very Luminous Galaxies

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Session 119 -- Starbursts and Seyfert 2s
Oral presentation, Saturday, January 15, 10:15-11:45, Crystal Forum Room (Crystal City Marriott)

[119.02] Kinematic Nuclear Masses of Very Luminous Galaxies

L. M. Shier, M. J. Rieke (Steward Observatory)

We have used high resolution infrared spectroscopy to measure the mass in the nuclear regions of five very luminous infrared galaxies: NGC 1614, NGC 3690, IC 694, NGC 6240, and Zw 475.056. The masses were determined from the kinematics of the stellar component. We used FSpec at the Steward Observatory 2.3 m telescope to observe the 2.3 $\mu$m CO bandhead at a resolution of 3500. Our methods were validated by observations of M 31, whose nuclear kinematics are well understood.

We are testing whether the $H_{2}$ masses derived from mm CO observations are realistic by comparing them to our dynamical masses. We have are using the mass to bolometric luminosity ratio to determine if enough mass is present to allow a stellar origin for all of the luminosity. At least some of the galaxies we observed may be powered entirely by a starburst. The strength of the CO bands suggest that the K band flux is dominated by stars, not hot dust or an AGN.

LMS thanks NASA for support through the Graduate Student Researchers Program. FSpec is supported by NSF grant AST-9116442.

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