IRAS Observations of Galaxies

  • B. T. Soifer
Conference paper
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 160)


The basic properties of galaxies at 12μm, 25μm, 60μm and 100μm have been determined from IRAS observations. The far infrared luminosity of galaxies is a substantial, but not dominant, component of the luminosity output of the local universe. From a careful analysis of the spatial distribution of the infrared emission in the nearby spiral galaxy M33 it is found that approximately 3/4 of the total infrared luminosity from this galaxy originates in stars with ages less than a few hundred million years. To the extent that M33 is a typical spiral galaxy, this supports the prejudice that the infrared emission in galaxies is measuring the luminosity of newly formed stars. Interactions are found to be a major trigger of the high activity phase (L ir > 1011 L ) in galaxies. A substantial fraction of all massive spiral galaxies probably undergo such a phase over the course of their evolution.


Spiral Galaxy Luminosity Function Infrared Emission Elliptical Galaxy Local Universe 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. T. Soifer
    • 1
  1. 1.California Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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