KINGFISH—Key Insights on Nearby Galaxies: A Far-Infrared Survey with Herschel: Survey Description and Image Atlas

Kennicutt, R. C., Calzetti, D., Aniano, G., Appleton, P., Armus, L., Beirão, P., Bolatto, A. D., Brandl, B., Crocker, A., Croxall, K., Dale, D. A., Donovan Meyer, J., Draine, B. T., Engelbracht, C. W., Galametz, M., Gordon, K. D., Groves, B., Hao, C.-N., Helou, G., Hinz, J., Hunt, L. K., Johnson, B., Koda, J., Krause, O., Leroy, A. K., Li, Y., Meidt, S., Montiel, E., Murphy, E. J., Rahman, N., Rix, H.-W., Roussel, H., Sandstrom, K., Sauvage, M., Schinnerer, E., Skibba, R., Smith, J. D. T., Srinivasan, S., Vigroux, L., Walter, F., Wilson, C. D., Wolfire, M., & Zibetti, S.
2011, Publications of the Astronomical Society of Pacific, 123, 1347

The KINGFISH project (Key Insights on Nearby Galaxies: a Far-Infrared Survey with Herschel) is an imaging and spectroscopic survey of 61 nearby (d < 30 Mpc) galaxies, chosen to cover a wide range of galaxy properties and local interstellar medium (ISM) environments found in the nearby universe. Its broad goals are to characterize the ISM of present-day galaxies, the heating and cooling of their gaseous and dust components, and to better understand the physical processes linking star formation and the ISM. KINGFISH is a direct descendant of the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey (SINGS), which produced complete Spitzer imaging and spectroscopic mapping and a comprehensive set of multiwavelength ancillary observations for the sample. The Herschel imaging consists of complete maps for the galaxies at 70, 100, 160, 250, 350, and 500 μm. The spectral line imaging of the principal atomic ISM cooling lines ([O I] 63 μm, [O III] 88 μm, [N II] 122,205 μm, and [C II] 158 μm) covers the subregions in the centers and disks that already have been mapped in the mid-infrared with Spitzer. The KINGFISH and SINGS multiwavelength data sets combined provide panchromatic mapping of the galaxies sufficient to resolve individual star-forming regions, and tracing the important heating and cooling channels of the ISM, across a wide range of local extragalactic ISM environments. This article summarizes the scientific strategy for KINGFISH, the properties of the galaxy sample, the observing strategy, and data processing and products. It also presents a combined Spitzer and Herschel image atlas for the KINGFISH galaxies, covering the wavelength range 3.6-500 μm. All imaging and spectroscopy data products will be released to the Herschel user-generated product archives. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.


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