Gemini South Helps Discover Galactic Jet in Spiral Galaxy
January 9, 2003
Gemini South Assistant Astronomer Dr. Michael Ledlow has helped confirm the existence of a giant, subatomic particle jet streaming from a spiral galaxy similar to the Milky Way.
discovery was made possible by the combination of radio, optical and
infrared observations. The findings were reported at the American
Astronomical Society's meeting in Seattle.
Ledlow's infrared work at Gemini South was instrumental in
complementing research by the team leader, Dr. William Keel with the
University of Alabama, and Dr. Frazer Owen with the National Radio
Astronomy Observatory. The galaxy, known as 0313-192, first came to the
attention of Dr. Owen more than 20 years ago during a galaxy survey he
conducted using the Very Large Array (VLA).
Gemini South's infrared images complemented optical images of the
galaxy taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in the spring of 2002. The
Gemini images penetrated deep into the galactic dust to confirm the
spiral nature of the galaxy.
"The Gemini South data are the first clear detection of the dust lane from a ground-based telescope," said Dr. Ledlow.
previous ground-based imaging was of insufficient resolution to see any
structure at all in the disk. In this image, we can see lots of
structure, evidence of a warped disk and have a better measure of the
strength of the nucleus.
near-infrared imaging is able to probe deeper through the disk than the
optical imaging, these data have provided a very nice complement to the
Hubble optical images at nearly the same resolution for studying the
structure of the disk," Dr. Ledlow said.
Ledlow's image of 0313-192, shown here, was obtained at Gemini South
using Flamingos-I, a near-infrared imager and spectrograph loaned to
Gemini by the University of Florida. The image is a J,H,K-short
composite. Integration time was 15 minutes total at each band. The
final IQ was 0.37" on average.
For more information, see NRAO's press release.