AuthorKailey, Walter Franklin.
AdvisorRieke, Marcia J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIRAS observations of extragalactic objects are analyzed, supplemented by optical spectroscopy and 10 μm photometry. The relationship between various forms of activity in the nuclei of spiral galaxies and their mid- to far-infrared spectral energy distributions is explored. It is shown that more than 70% of galaxies with F₆₀/F₂₅ ≤ 3 are Seyferts, while the remainder have bright optical emission lines in their nuclear spectra. It is argued that most Seyferts are powered by their active nuclei at 25 μm, while there is some indication that Seyferts with large F₆₀/F₂₅ flux ratios are undergoing starbursts in the vicinity of their nuclei. The properties of a sample of bright, extragalactic IRAS sources are studied. A catalog containing total infrared and blue fluxes, distance estimates, recession velocities, and morphological classifications for these objects is presented. The brightest sources at mid- to far-infrared wavelengths are (in order of frequency) nearby, normal spiral galaxies; galaxies with disturbed or irregular morphology (often known as interacting galaxies); type 2 Seyferts; and dust-embedded type 1 Seyferts. All of these sources are dominated by thermal emission from dust. The dust in the peculiar, irregular, and Seyfert galaxies is exposed to a higher mean intensity of radiation. Moreover, these IR-active galaxies tend to have strong, compact nuclear sources at 11 μm, whether or not they contain a known Seyfert nucleus. The distinctive spectral behavior of IR-luminous galaxies is shown to result from the presence of compact, dust-dominated IR nuclear sources, which are the predominant cause of IR luminosities above 10¹¹ L(⊙). Compact IR sources are always associated with a dust-embedded region of ionized gas in the galaxy's nucleus, which may exhibit Seyfert, LINER, or H II region characteristics. The luminosity of the compact nuclear source is well correlated with its 60/100 μm color. This relationship is a vital clue to the nature of these sources and has potential application as a standard candle.