EDP Sciences
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Volume 403, Number 1, May III 2003
Page(s) 119 - 134
Section Galactic structure and dynamics
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20030368

A&A 403, 119-134 (2003)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20030368

Spatially-resolved spectrophotometric analysis and modelling of the Superantennae

S. Berta1, J. Fritz1, A. Franceschini1, A. Bressan2 and C. Pernechele2

1  Dipartimento di Astronomia, vicolo dell'Osservatorio 2, 35122 Padova, Italy
2  Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, vicolo dell'Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy

(Received 8 August 2002 / Accepted 11 March 2003 )

We have performed spatially-resolved spectroscopy of the double-nucleated Ultra-Luminous Infrared Galaxy IRAS 19254-7245, "the Superantennae", along the line connecting the two nuclei. These data are analysed with a spectral synthesis code, to derive the star formation and extinction properties of the galaxy. The star formation history (SFH) of the two nuclei is similarly characterized by two different main episodes: a recent burst, responsible of the observed emission lines, and an older one, occurred roughly 1 Gyr ago. We tentatively associate this bimodal SFH with a double encounter in the dynamical history of the merger. We have complemented our study with a detailed analysis of the broad band spectral energy distribution of the Superantennae, built from published photometry, providing the separate optical-to-mm SEDs of the two nuclei. Our analysis shows that: a) the southern nucleus is responsible for about 80% of the total infrared luminosity of the system, b) the L-band luminosity in the southern nucleus is dominated by the emission from an obscured AGN, providing about 40 to 50% of the bolometric flux between 8 and 1000  $\mu$m; c) the northern nucleus does not show evidence for AGN emission and appears to be in a post-starburst phase. As for the relative strengths of the AGN and starburst components, we find that, while they are comparable at FIR and sub-mm wavelengths, in the radio the Sy2 emission dominates by an order of magnitude the starburst.

Key words: galaxies: individual: IRAS 19254-7245 -- galaxies: interactions -- galaxies: starburst -- galaxies: Seyfert

Offprint request: S. Berta, berta@pd.astro.it

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