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PAH features in Infrared Luminous Galaxies: Results from Michelle

  • M. S. Clemens (a1), B. Nikolic (a2), P. Alexander (a2), G. Cotter (a2) and M. S. Longair (a2)...

Abstract

We present recent results from mid-infrared observations of a sample of nearby, infrared luminous starbursts and AGN made with the new mid-infrared instrument, “Michelle”, on UKIRT. Narrow band imaging in the 7-13 micron range with sub-arcsec resolution has been used to study the spatial distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) features. The comparison of these sub-arcsecond resolution data with radio continuum data at similar resolution can be used to determine, 1) the sources of excitation required for PAH emission, and 2) whether PAH features are a measure of the relative contribution of star formation and AGN to the bolometric energy output of a galaxy. Unlike the far-infrared emission from dust, that in the mid-infrared can be used to discriminate between different heating sources.

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