Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 November 2010
Near-infrared spectral imaging observations of the starburst galaxy NGC 1808 and of the Seyfert galaxy NGC 1068 are briefly discussed.
Most of the presentations at this meeting have focussed on optical, ultraviolet, and X-ray observations of starburst galaxies (SBGs) and active galactic nuclei (AGN) and their interpretation. In this contribution I draw attention to the utility of infrared array spectroscopy and millimeter-wave interferometry to the study of energetic galaxy nuclei.
Infrared spectral observations are useful because they probe objects with large internal or foreground extinctions. Many interstellar sources such as photon-dominated regions in molecular clouds or non-dissociative shocks release energy at primarily infrared wavelengths. Millimeter spectroscopy provides information about the molecular medium which is not readily observable at optical, UV or X-ray wavelengths.
In this article I discuss infrared observations of the starburst galaxy NGC 1808 and of the Seyfert galaxy NGC 1068 carried out by members of the MPE group (Blietz et al. 1994; Krabbe, Sternberg & Genzel 1994; Taconni et al. 1994). Most of this work was carried out using the MPE infrared array spectrometer FAST (Krabbe et al. 1993).
NGC 1808 is a nearby (10.9 Mpc, for H0 = 75 km s−1 Mpc−1) morphologically peculiar spiral galaxy (Sersic and Pastoriza 1965). Optical images show that several dust filaments protrude from the nucleus out into the galactic halo.