Extended Mid-Infrared Aromatic Feature Emission in M82

Engelbracht, C. W., Kundurthy, P., Gordon, K. D., Rieke, G. H., Kennicutt, R. C., Smith, J.-D. T., Regan, M. W., Makovoz, D., Sosey, M., Draine, B. T., Helou, G., Armus, L., Calzetti, D., Meyer, M., Bendo, G. J., Walter, F., Hollenbach, D., Cannon, J. M., Murphy, E. J., Dale, D. A., Buckalew, B. A., & Sheth, K.
2006, The Astrophysical Journal, 642, L127

We present new images (ground-based optical and mid-infrared [MIR] from the Spitzer Space Telescope) and spectra (from Spitzer) of the archetypal starburst galaxy M82. The Spitzer data show that the MIR emission extends at least 6 kpc along the minor axis of the galaxy. We use the optical and infrared data to demonstrate that the extended emission is dominated by emission from dust. The colors of the MIR emission and the spectra indicate that there is a strong component of aromatic feature emission (the MIR features commonly attributed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). The dust continuum and aromatic feature emission are both strong in the well-known superwind region of this galaxy; clearly, the carrier of the aromatic features can survive in close proximity to the wind, far from the plane of the galaxy. We also see significant emission by dust well outside the superwind region, providing the clearest picture to date of the dust distribution in the halo of this galaxy.


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