Infrared Images of Merging Galaxies

G. S. Wright, P. A. James, R. D. Joseph, I. S. McLean, R. Doyon
1990 International Astronomical Union Colloquium  
Infrared imaging of interacting galaxies is especially interesting because their optical appearance is often so chaotic due to extinction by dust and emission from star formation regions, that it is impossible to locate the nuclei or determine the true stellar distribution. However, at near-infrared wavelengths extinction is considerably reduced, and most of the flux from galaxies originates from red giant stars that comprise the dominant stellar component by mass. Thus near infrared images
more » ... r the opportunity to study directly components of galactic structure which are otherwise inaccessible. Such images may ultimately provide the framework in which to understand the activity taking place in many of the mergers with high IRAS luminosities.
doi:10.1017/s0252921100005297 fatcat:slcuojz5sjeijnpr4vsi7h5fhy