A test of the association of infrared activity with bars

Stephen M. Pompea, G. H. Rieke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


The hypothesis that high far-infrared luminosities in noninteracting galaxies are dependent on material fed into their nuclei or into circumnuclear rings along bars can be tested by near-infrared imaging. Except in extreme starbursts, the near-infrared emission arises from the stars that dominate the mass of the stellar populations; moreover, the effects of interstellar extinction are greatly reduced at these wavelengths compared with | the visible. We have selected a sample of 22 galaxies from the Revised Shapley-Ames Catalog that have farinfrared luminosities > 1010 L and hot colors between 60 and 100 μm (S60/S100 > 0.5), indicative of possible nuclear starbursts, but are not interacting or classified as Seyfert galaxies. Fifteen galaxies of the sample of 16 that are not clearly barred from optical data and are isolated were imaged at 1.6 and 2.2 μm. In an evaluation of the infrared images, at least eight of these galaxies do not appear to have bars. Strong bars therefore do not appear to be an absolute requirement for high infrared luminosity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-429
Number of pages14
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 20 1990


  • Galaxies: structures
  • Infrared: sources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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