KINGFISH – Herschel looks at nearby galaxies

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The KINGFISH project, essentially a Herschel equivalent of the Spitzer SINGS survey of nearby galaxies, is providing some wonderful images of local galaxies in the far-IR. Early data on two nearby galaxies shows that we can now get far-IR images that look almost as good as optical images.

Data on these objects is of sufficient quality to be able to test models of star formation in the nuclear regions of these objects through looking for dust temperature variations. No variations seen so some models are favoured.

They’re also looking at variations in dust temperature on larger scales to see if bulge dominated galaxies have cooler dust. A tentative trend for bulge or bar dominated galaxies to have cooler dust in their outer regions is found.

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