Knowledge of the distribution and excitation of gas close to the nuclei of starburst galaxies is an essential element in the construction of models dealing with intense, but short-lived, star forming events. Building a comprehensive picture of the concentrations of various gaseous components in such regions calls for a multi-wavelength approach: the principal cooling lines of cold (T≤200K) molecular gas fall in the millimetre waveband, those of hot (T~1−3×103K) excited molecular material in the near-IR, and those pinpointing starburst activity in the optical. In many cases the extents of the emitting regions are on the order of only a few arcseconds.
As part of such a study into the relationship between various near- and circum- nuclear gaseous components in starburst galaxies, we have obtained data on NGC 6764, a barred spiral classified as a LINER, at resolutions of 1″−4″ across the optical, near-infrared and millimetre wavelength regimes. In a previous paper (Eckart et al. 1991) we discussed extensive single dish millimetre and JHK near-IR measurements of the nucleus and disk of NGC 6764. Here we present new near-IR observations obtained with the MPE FAST instrument (Rotaciuc et al. 1991) at the William Herschel Telescope, along with 2″ resolution 12CO J=1-0 (115 GHz) interferometry measured with the Nobeyama millimeter array and 1″ optical spectroscopy from the 3.5m Calar Alto telescope.