High‐Resolution Tip/Tilt Near‐Infrared Imaging of Warm Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxies

Jason A. Surace, D. B. Sanders
1999 Astrophysical Journal  
We present high spatial resolution H and K'-band images of a complete sample of ultraluminous infrared galaxies selected to have warm mid-infrared colors known to be characteristic of active galaxies. The extended underlying galaxy is detected in each system, as are tidal features and many of the star-forming knots seen at optical wavelengths. While some of these knots have a considerable near-infrared excess, we show that they are likely to have bolometric luminosities more similar to that of
more » ... he extended starbursts with similar optical morphology seen in less far-infrared luminous interacting systems. We find that each ULIG has increasing contributions at long wavelengths by a very compact source which we identify as an active galactic nucleus. We show that the optical/near-infrared colors of these putative nuclei are much more extreme than the most active starburst IRAS galaxies, yet are identical to "far-infrared loud" quasars which are in turn similar to optical quasars combined with large quantities of hot dust. Half of the ULIGs have nuclei with dereddened near-infrared luminosities comparable to those of QSOs, while the other half have dereddened luminosities more similar to Seyferts, although this may be an effect of patchy extinction and scattering.
doi:10.1086/306737 fatcat:5zm2s7fnybaevlfkn5b4sbrq5u