Volume 414, Number 3, February II 2004
|Page(s)||845 - 855|
|Published online||27 January 2004|
Dust enshrouded star-forming activity in Arp 299*
Service d'Astrophysique, CEA-Saclay, 91191 Gif sur Yvette Cedex, France
2 Cornell University, Astronomy Department, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
3 Chercheur Associé, Observatoire de Paris, 61 Av. de l'Observatoire, 75014 Paris, France
4 Instituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio/CONICET, cc 67, suc 28, 1428 Buenos Aires, Argentina
Corresponding author: P. Gallais, email@example.com
Accepted: 18 September 2003
We present mid-infrared spectro-imaging (m) observations of the infrared luminous interacting system Arp 299 (= Mrk 171 = IC 694+NGC 3690) obtained with the ISOCAM instrument aboard ISO. Our observations show that nearly 40% of the total emission at 7 and m is diffuse, originating from the interacting disks of the galaxies. Moreover, they indicate the presence of large amounts of hot dust in the main infrared sources of the system and large extinctions toward the nuclei. While the observed spectra have an overall similar shape, mainly composed of Unidentified Infrared Bands (UIB) in the short wavelength domain, a strong continuum at ~m and a deep silicate absorption band at m, their differences reveal the varying physical conditions of each component. For each source, the spectral energy distribution (SED) can be reproduced by a linear combination of a UIB “canonical” spectral template and a hot dust continuum due to a K black body, after independently applying an extinction correction to both of them. We find that the UIB extinction does not vary much throughout the system ( mag) suggesting that most UIBs originate from less enshrouded regions. IC 694 appears to dominate the infrared emission of the system and our observations support the interpretation of a deeply embedded nuclear starburst located behind an absorption of about 40 magnitudes. The central region of NGC 3690 displays a hard radiation field characterized by a [Neiii]/[Neii] ratio ≥1.8. It also hosts a strong continuum from 5 to m which can be explained as thermal emission from a deeply embedded ( mag) compact source, consistent with the mid-infrared signature of an active galactic nucleus (AGN), and in agreement with recent X-ray findings.
Key words: stars: formation / galaxies: individual: Arp 299 / galaxies: individual: Mrk 171 / galaxies: interactions / galaxies: starburst / infrared: ISM
© ESO, 2004
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