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Astron. Astrophys. 315, L97-L100 (1996)

LWS observations of the colliding galaxies NGC 4038/39*

J. Fischer1,16, L.M. Shier1, M.L. Luhman1, S. Satyapal2,16, H.A. Smith2, G.J. Stacey3, S.J. Unger4, M.A. Greenhouse2, L. Spinoglio5, M.A. Malkan6, S.D. Lord7, J.W. Miles2, M.A. Shure8,16, P.E. Clegg9, P.A.R. Ade9, C. Armand10, M. Burgdorf10, S.E. Church11, G.R. Davis12, A. Di Giorgio10, D. Ewart10, I. Furniss13, W.M. Glencross13, C. Gry10,14, T. Lim10, S. Molinari10, Q. Nguyen-Rieu15, M.C. Price10, S.D. Sidher10, A. Smith10, B.M. Swinyard4, D. Texier10, N.R. Trams10, and M.G. Wolfire2

1 Naval Research Laboratory, Remote Sensing Division, 4555 Overlook Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20375, USA
2 National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institute, Laboratory for Astrophysics, Washington, DC 20560, USA
3 Cornell University, Astronomy Dept., 230 Space Sciences Bldg., Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
4 Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, S and A Division, Chilton, Didcot, Oxfordshire 0X11-OQX, UK
5 CNR-Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario, Casella Postale 27, I-00044 Frascati (Rome), Italy
6 University of California, Dept. of Astronomy, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA
7 California Institute of Technology, IPAC, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
8 Georgia State Univ., Ctr. High Angular Res. Astro., 38 Peachtree Ctr. Ave. 1039GCB, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
9 Queen and Mary Westfield College, Univ. of London, Dept. of Physics, Mile End Road, London E1-4NS, UK
10 The LWS Instrument-Dedicated Team, ISO Science Operations Centre, PO Box 50727, Madrid, Spain
11 California Institute of Technology, Division of Physics, Math, and Astronomy, MS-59-33, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
12 Institute of Space and Atmospheric Studies, Univ. of Saskatchewan, 116 Science Pl., Saskatoon, Sask. S7N 5E2, Canada
13 University College London, Univ. of London, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Gower Street, London WC1E-6BT, UK
14 Laboratoire d'Astronomie Spatiale, CNRS, BP 8, F-13248 Marseille Cedex 12, France
15 Observatoire de Paris, 61 Avenue de l'Observatoire, F-75014 Paris, France
16 Visiting Astronomer at the Infrared Telescope Facility, which is operated by the Univ. of Hawaii under contract from NASA

Received 1 July 1996 / Accepted 2 August 1996

Abstract. Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) Long Wavelength Spectrometer (LWS) and ground-based Fabry-Perot imaging spectroscopic observations are used to penetrate the extinction to the powerful burst of star formation that has occurred in the extranuclear molecular cloud complex in the galaxy overlap region of the galaxies NGC 4038/39 (``The Antennae''). Parameters of the starburst and typical molecular cloud core characteristics are derived. It is found that the starburst can power the infrared luminosity of this galaxy system.

Key words: infrared: galaxies - galaxies: interactions - galaxies: starburst - galaxies: evolution - galaxies: nuclei - galaxies: individual NGC 4038/39

* Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instruments funded by ESA Member States (especially the PI countries: France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) and with the participation of ISAS and NASA.

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