Deconstructing Starbursts

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

[77.10] Deconstructing Starbursts

Alan M. Watson and John S. Gallagher III (University of Wisconsin -- Madison)

We present results from near IR imaging of a sample of nearby nuclear starbursts in disc galaxies taken with the SQIID camera on the NOAO 1.3m telescope. These data cover a range of starburst sizes, ages, and inclinations, and allow us to begin to isolate those features common to all starbursts form those unique to individual ones.

Our primary diagnostic is the resolved near IR colour-colour-flux diagram, adapted from the resolved near IR colour-colour diagrams of Telesco et al.\ (1991) and first presented by Watson et al.\ (1993). These diagrams give a clear visual indication of the signature of dust across each starburst. An immediate result is that the inclination of the disc is a vital parameter for the observed properties of starbursts, which points to the need to consider these galaxies as truly three-dimensional entities.

We present initial three-dimensional models of the radiation transfer affects in these galaxies. Such models, combined with the colour-colour-flux diagrams and other data, such as optical/UV surface brightnesses and the FIR fluxes, allow us to investigate the complex arrangements of gas, dust, and stars in these galaxies.

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