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Astron. Astrophys. 350, 791-796 (1999)

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The nature of near-infrared emission from spiral galaxies

P.A. James 1 and M.S. Seigar 2

1 Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Twelve Quays House, Egerton Wharf, Birkenhead CH41 1LD, UK (paj@astro.livjm.ac.uk)
2 Department of Mathematical Physics and Astronomy, Universiteit Gent, Krijgslaan 281 (S9), 9000 Gent, Belgium (Marc.Seigar@rug.ac.be)

Received 21 June 1999 / Accepted 9 September 1999


We present K-band spectroscopy for several regions of three nearby spiral galaxies, NGC 613, NGC 628 and NGC 7741. Analysis of the depth of the 2.293 µm CO absorption feature in these spectra reveals that some regions have deep absorptions, indicative of recent star formation, while others have anomalously shallow absorptions. We interpret the latter as evidence for a significant but localised contribution to the 2.3 µm light from hot dust with an effective temperature of [FORMULA]1000 K, which could have a significant effect on the K-band morphologies of star-forming galaxies.

Key words: galaxies: individual: M 74 – galaxies: individual: NGC 613 – galaxies: individual: NGC 7741 – galaxies: spiral – galaxies: stellar content

Send offprint requests to: P. James

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: October 14, 1999