The next talk here at ESLAB is about Herschel observations of one of my favourite local galaxies – the Antennae. This is a collision between two spiral galaxies which are merging. The collision has triggered a burst of star formation. Some of this can be seen in optical light, but most of it is obscured by dust and can only be seen in the far-IR. This is where Herschel comes in.
We can’t release the Herschel image yet, but the optical image, above, shows the region where dust obscures the star formation – it’s the dark area on the middle where the optical can’t see anything. And yet this is where most of the energy generated by the star formation takes place.
Herschel breaks this region up into smaller distinct star forming clumps, one of which is forming stars faster than the others. Why is this? This is something for future work.
Tags: ESLAB 2010