An Optical, Far-Infrared and Co Survey of Interacting Galaxies
Galaxy-galaxy collisions are known to produce drastic changes in morphology and, in many cases, enhance the level of star formation activity in galaxies. In order to better quantify the effects that interactions have on the star formation characteristics of galaxies we have undertaken a multiwavelength survey of a large sample of interacting disk-type galaxies. The sample is optically-selected, the inclusion of systems having been based upon the presence of unusual morphological features—such as tidal tails, plumes, rings, warped disks—suggestive of tidal interaction. The sample is composed of about 115 systems, most of which are spiral-spiral pairs, with a few spiral-elliptical pairs and a few merging systems (see Bushouse 1986 for more details of the sample selection). This sample has now been studied in the optical, infrared, and radio regimes, including optical spectra and Hα images, near-infrared photometry and imaging, far-infrared photometry, H I 21cm emission-line measurements, VLA 20cm maps, and CO emission-line measurements. This paper presents an overview and comparison of the results of the optical, far-IR and CO surveys. With these data we can compare the far-IR and CO properties of the galaxies with the classic optical and radio indicators of star formation activity and thereby determine what, if any, relationships exist between star formation activity and the far-IR and CO properties of the galaxies.
KeywordsStar Formation Star Formation Activity Optical Luminosity Tidal Tail Interact Galaxy
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- Bushouse, HA., Lamb, SA., Lo, K-Y., Lord, SD. and Werner, MW. (1989), in preparation.Google Scholar