Central regions of LIRGs: rings, hidden starbursts, supernovae and star clusters

Petri Väisänen*, Andres Escala, Erkki Kankare, Jari Kotilainen, Seppo Mattila, Vinesh Rajpaul, Zara Randriamanakoto, Juha Reunanen, Stuart Ryder, Albert Zijlstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paperpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We study star formation (SF) in very active environments, in luminous IR galaxies, which are often interacting. A variety of phenomena are detected, such as central starbursts, circumnuclear SF, obscured SNe tracing the history of recent SF, massive super star clusters, and sites of strong off-nuclear SF. All of these can be ultimately used to define the sequence of triggering and propagation of star-formation and interplay with nuclear activity in the lives of gas rich galaxy interactions and mergers. In this paper we present analysis of high-spatial resolution integral field spectroscopy of central regions of two interacting LIRGs. We detect a nuclear 3.3 μm PAH ring around the core of NGC 1614 with thermal-IR IFU observations. The ring's characteristics and relation to the strong star-forming ring detected in recombination lines are presented, as well as a scenario of an outward expanding starburst likely initiated with a (minor) companion detected within a tidal feature. We then present NIR IFU observations of IRAS 19115-2124, aka the Bird, which is an intriguing triple encounter. The third component is a minor one, but, nevertheless, is the source of 3/4 of the SFR of the whole system. Gas inflows and outflows are detected in their nuclei locations. Finally, we briefly report on our on-going NIR adaptive optics imaging survey of several dozen LIRGs. We have detected highly obscured core-collapse SNe in the central kpc, and discuss the statistics of "missing SNe" due to dust extinction. We are also determining the characteristics of hundreds of super star clusters in and around the core regions of LIRGs, as a function of host-galaxy properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012045
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventAstronomy at High Angular Resolution 2011: The Central Kiloparsec in Galactic Nuclei, AHAR 2011 - Bad Honnef, Germany
Duration: 29 Aug 20112 Sept 2011


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