Astrophys. J., 675, L69-L72 (2008/March-2)
Off-nuclear star formation and obscured activity in the luminous infrared galaxy NGC 2623.
EVANS A.S., VAVILKIN T., PIZAGNO J., MODICA F., MAZZARELLA J.M., IWASAWA K., HOWELL J.H., SURACE J.A., ARMUS L., PETRIC A.O., SPOON H.W.W., BARNES J.E., SUER T.A., SANDERS D.B., CHAN B. and LORD S.
Abstract (from CDS):
New optical Hubble Space Telescope (HST), Spitzer Space Telescope, and XMM observations of the luminous infrared galaxy (LIRG) NGC 2623 are presented. This galaxy was observed as part of the Great Observatories All-sky LIRG Survey (GOALS). The prominent 3.2 kpc southern extension to the nucleus has been resolved by HST observations into ∼100 star clusters, making it one of the richest off-nuclear concentrations of bright clusters observed in GOALS. The clusters have MF555W~-6.6 to -12.6 mag, which is within the magnitude range of Antennae galaxy clusters and in excess of 30 Doradus clusters at the high end. Their optical colors are primarily consistent with ages of ∼1-100 Myr. Archival GALEX data show the off-nuclear region to be extremely bright in the far-ultraviolet, being equivalent in luminosity to the resolved nuclear region at 0.15 µm, but becoming less energetically significant at increasing wavelengths. In addition, [Ne V] 14.3 µm emission is detected with Spitzer IRS, confirming the inference from the X-ray and radio data that an active galactic nucleus (AGN) is present. Thus, the off-nuclear optical clusters are associated with a secondary burst of activity corresponding to a star formation rate ∼0.1-0.2 M☉/yr; the bulk of infrared (and thus bolometric) luminosity is generated via star formation and an AGN embedded behind dust within the inner kiloparsec of the system. If the infrared luminosity is primarily reprocessed starlight, the off-nuclear starburst accounts for <1% of the present star formation in NGC 2623.
Galaxies: Active - Galaxies: Individual: NGC Number: NGC 2623 - Galaxies: Interactions - Infrared: Galaxies
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