EDP Sciences
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Volume 441, Number 3, October III 2005
Page(s) 999 - 1010
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20052812

A&A 441, 999-1010 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20052812

Follow-up near-infrared spectroscopy of ultraluminous infrared galaxies observed by ISO

H. Dannerbauer1, 2, D. Rigopoulou1, 3, D. Lutz1, R. Genzel1, 4, E. Sturm1 and A. F. M. Moorwood5

1  Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Postfach 1312, 85741 Garching, Germany
    e-mail: [lutz;genzel;sturm]@mpe.mpg.de
2  Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
    e-mail: dannerb@mpia-hd.mpg.de
3  Astrophysics, Department of Physics, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3 RH, UK
    e-mail: dar@astro.ox.ac.uk
4  Department of Physics, 366 Le Conte Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-7300, USA
5  European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
    e-mail: amoor@eso.org

(Received 3 February 2005 / Accepted 15 June 2005)

We present low resolution near-infrared spectroscopy of an unbiased sample of 24 ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs), selected from samples previously observed spectroscopically in the mid-infrared with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). Qualitatively, the near-infrared spectra resemble those of starbursts. Only in one ULIRG, IRAS 04114-5117E, do we find spectroscopic evidence for AGN activity. The spectroscopic classification in the near-infrared is in very good agreement with the mid-infrared one. For a subset of our sample for which extinction corrections can be derived from $\mathrm{Pa\alpha}$and $\mbox{$\mathrm{Br\gamma}$ }$, we find rather high $\mathrm{Pa\alpha}$luminosities, in accordance with the powering source of these galaxies being star formation. [FeII] emission is strong in ULIRGs and may be linked to starburst and superwind activity. Additionally, our sample includes two unusual objects. The first, IRAS F00183-7111, exhibits extreme [FeII] emission and the second, IRAS F23578-5307, is according to our knowledge one of the most luminous infrared galaxies in $\mbox{$\mathrm{H_2}$ }$ rotation-vibration emission.

Key words: galaxies: active -- galaxies: interactions -- galaxies: starburst -- infrared: galaxies

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© ESO 2005