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Astrophysics

Title: HST ultraviolet spectral energy distributions for three ultraluminous infrared galaxies

Authors: Neil Trentham (IfA Hawaii and IoA Cambridge) John Kormendy (Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii), David Sanders (Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii)
Abstract: We present HST Faint Object Camera ultraviolet (230 nm and 140 nm) images of three ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIG: L_ir > 10^12 L_sun) selected from the IRAS Revised Bright Galaxy Sample. The purpose is to estimate spectral energy distributions (SEDs) to facilitate the identification of similar objects at high redshift in deep optical, infrared, and submm surveys.
All three galaxies (VII Zw031 = IRAS F12112+0305, and IRAS F22491-1808) were well detected at 230 nm. Two of the three were marginally detected at 140 nm. The fluxes, together with ground-based optical and infrared photometry, are used to compute SEDs over a wide wavelength range. The measured SEDs drop from the optical to the ultraviolet, but the magnitude of the drop ranges from a factor of ~3 in IRAS F22491-1808 to a factor of ~100 in VIIZw031. This is most likely due to different internal extinctions. Such an interpretation is also suggested by extrapolating to ultraviolet wavelengths the optical internal extinction measured in VIIZw031. K-corrections are calculated to determine the colors of the sample galaxies as seen at high redshifts. Galaxies like VIIZw031 have very low observed rest-frame UV fluxes which means that such galaxies at high redshift will be extremely red or even missing in optical surveys. On the other hand, galaxies like IRAS F12112+0305 and IRAS F22491-1808, if seen at high redshift, would be sufficiently blue that they would not easily be distinguished from normal field galaxies, and therefore, identified as ULIGs. The implication is then that submillimeter surveys may be the only means of properly identifying the majority of ULIGs at high redshift.
Comments: AJ in press, TeX, 23 pages, 7 tab, 17 figs available also (at higher resolution) from this http URL
Subjects: Astrophysics (astro-ph)
DOI: 10.1086/300831
Cite as: arXiv:astro-ph/9901382
  (or arXiv:astro-ph/9901382v2 for this version)

Submission history

From: N. Trentham [view email]
[v1] Wed, 27 Jan 1999 13:53:22 GMT (52kb)
[v2] Thu, 28 Jan 1999 18:08:43 GMT (321kb)