Studying distant infrared-luminous galaxies with Spitzer and Hubble

Casey Papovich, Eiichi Egami, Emeric Le Floc’h, Pablo Pérez-González, George Rieke, Jane Rigby, Hervé Dole, Marcia Rieke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


New surveys with the Spitzer Space Telescope identify distant star-forming and active galaxies by their strong emission at far-infrared wavelengths, which provides strong constraints on these galaxies’ bolometric energy. Using early results from Spitzer surveys at 24 μm, we argue that the faint sources correspond to the existence of a population of infrared-luminous galaxies at z ≳ 1 that are not expected from predictions based on previous observations from ISO and IRAS. Combining Spitzer images with deep ground-based optical and Hubble Space Telescope imaging, we discuss the properties of galaxies selected at 24 μm in the region of the Chandra Deep Field South, including redshift and morphological distributions. Galaxies with z ≲ 1 constitute roughly half of the faint 24 μm sources. Infrared-luminous galaxies at these redshifts span a wide variety of normal to strongly interacting/merging morphologies, which suggests that a range of mechanisms produce infrared activity. Large-area, joint surveys between Spitzer and HST are needed to understand the complex relation between galaxy morphology, structure, environment, and activity level, and how this evolves with cosmic time. We briefly discuss strategies for constructing surveys to maximize the legacy of these missions. Introduction Infrared (IR) luminous galaxies represent highly active stages in galaxy evolution that are not generally inferred in optically selected galaxy surveys (e.g., Rieke & Low 1972; Soifer, Neugebauer, & Houck 1987).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPlanets to Cosmology
Subtitle of host publicationEssential Science in the Final Years of the Hubble Space Telescope
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780511536328
ISBN (Print)9780521847582
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Studying distant infrared-luminous galaxies with Spitzer and Hubble'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this