High spatial resolution imaging of Arp 220 from 3 to 25 microns

B. T. Soifer, G. Neugebauer, K. Matthews, E. E. Becklin, M. Ressler, M. W. Werner, A. J. Weinberger, E. Egami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Images of Arp 220 from 3.45 to 24.5 μm with 0″.5 resolution are presented that clearly separate the nucleus into at least two components. The western component is about 3 times more luminous than the eastern component, but the silicate absorption in the fainter, eastern component is roughly 50% greater than the absorption in the western component. Each component is marginally resolved. The two components seen at 24.5 μm are identified with the two radio components. The western source most likely coincides with the high-extinction disk previously suggested to exist in Arp 220, while the eastern nucleus is identified with a faint, highly reddened source seen in HST 2.2 μm NICMOS images. The two nuclei together account for essentially all of the measured 24.5 μm flux density. Two models are presented, both of which fit the observations. In one the majority of the total luminosity is produced in an extended star formation region, and in the other most of the luminosity is produced in the compact but extincted regions associated with the two nuclei seen at 24.5 μm. In both pictures, substantial luminosity at 100 μm emerges from a component having a diameter of 2″-3″ (∼1 kpc).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-214
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: individual (Arp 220)
  • Galaxies: nuclei
  • Galaxies: structure
  • Infrared: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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