Bright Infrared Spots in Luminous IRAS Galaxies

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Session 77 -- Starbursts
Display presentation, Friday, January 14, 9:30-6:45, Salons I/II Room (Crystal Gateway)

[77.09] Bright Infrared Spots in Luminous IRAS Galaxies

D.L. Maraziti, R.D. Joseph and D.B. Sanders (Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii)

We have undertaken an imaging project at HKL' and M of a complete sample of galaxies with redshifts up to z=0.1 and far-infrared luminosities > 2x10$^{11}$ L$_{\sun}$ in the IRAS Bright Galaxy Sample (S60 > 5 Jy) identified by Carico et. al. (1988) and Sanders et al. (1993). Of the galaxies observed, ~50\% exhibit multiple concentrations of luminosity with separations less than 10 kpc in our K and L' images. These "bright spots" have K-L' color indices >1, and they fall below the reddening line in HKL' two-color diagrams. The K luminosities of these spots range from 2x10$^{9}$ to 10$^{10} L$_{\sun}$--greater than L$_{K}$ for normal spiral galaxy nuclei, but typical of the luminosities of starburst galaxy nuclei. What are these bright spots? Here we suggest several explanations and use infrared colors, luminosities, linear separations, and spot counts to isolate the most likely interpretation.

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