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Discovery of a 500 Parsec Shell in the Nucleus of Centaurus A
Spitzer Space Telescope mid-infrared images of the radio galaxyCentaurus A reveal a shell-like, bipolar, structure 500 pc to the northand south of the nucleus. This shell is seen in 5.8, 8.0, and 24 μmbroadband images. Such a remarkable shell has not been previouslydetected in a radio galaxy and, if confirmed, would be the firstextragalactic nuclear shell detected at mid-infrared wavelengths.Assuming that it is a coherent expanding structure, we estimate that theshell is a few million years old and has a mass on the order of amillion solar masses. A conservative estimate for the mechanical energyin the wind-driven bubble is 1053 ergs. The shell could havebeen created by a small, few-thousand solar mass, nuclear burst of starformation. Alternatively, the bolometric luminosity of the activenucleus is sufficiently large that it could power the shell. Constraintson the shell's velocity are lacking. However, if the shell is moving at1000 km s-1, then the required mechanical energy would be 100times larger.

Local and Large-Scale Environment of Seyfert Galaxies
We present a three-dimensional study of the local (<=100h-1 kpc) and the large-scale (<=1 h-1 Mpc)environment of the two main types of Seyfert AGN galaxies. For thispurpose we use 48 Seyfert 1 galaxies (with redshifts in the range0.007<=z<=0.036) and 56 Seyfert 2 galaxies (with0.004<=z<=0.020), located at high galactic latitudes, as well astwo control samples of nonactive galaxies having the same morphological,redshift, and diameter size distributions as the corresponding Seyfertsamples. Using the Center for Astrophysics (CfA2) and Southern SkyRedshift Survey (SSRS) galaxy catalogs (mB~15.5) and our ownspectroscopic observations (mB~18.5), we find that within aprojected distance of 100 h-1 kpc and a radial velocityseparation of δv<~600 km s-1 around each of ourAGNs, the fraction of Seyfert 2 galaxies with a close neighbor issignificantly higher than that of their control (especially within 75h-1 kpc) and Seyfert 1 galaxy samples, confirming a previoustwo-dimensional analysis of Dultzin-Hacyan et al. We also find that thelarge-scale environment around the two types of Seyfert galaxies doesnot vary with respect to their control sample galaxies. However, theSeyfert 2 and control galaxy samples do differ significantly whencompared to the corresponding Seyfert 1 samples. Since the maindifference between these samples is their morphological typedistribution, we argue that the large-scale environmental differencecannot be attributed to differences in nuclear activity but rather totheir different type of host galaxies.

Discovery of Water Maser Emission in Eight AGNs with 70 m Antennas of NASA's Deep Space Network
We report the discovery of water maser emission in eight active galacticnuclei (AGNs) with the 70 m NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) antennas atTidbinbilla, Australia, and Robledo, Spain. The positions of the newlydiscovered masers, measured with the VLA, are consistent with theoptical positions of the host nuclei to within 1 σ (0.3" radio and1.3" optical) and most likely mark the locations of the embedded centralengines. The spectra of two sources, NGC 3393 and NGC 5495, display thecharacteristic spectral signature of emission from an edge-on accretiondisk, with orbital velocities of ~600 and ~400 km s-1,respectively. In a survey with DSN facilities of 630 AGNs selected fromthe NASA Extragalactic Database, we have discovered a total of 15 watermaser sources. The resulting incidence rate of maser emission amongnearby (vsys<7000 km s-1) Seyfert 1.8-2.0 andLINER systems is ~10% for a typical rms noise level of ~14 mJy over 1.3km s-1 spectral channels. As a result of this work, thenumber of nearby AGNs (vsys<7000 km s-1)observed with <20 mJy rms noise has increased from 130 to 449.

Low-Luminosity Active Galaxies and Their Central Black Holes
Central black hole masses for 117 spiral galaxies representingmorphological stages S0/a through Sc and taken from the largespectroscopic survey of Ho et al. are derived using Ks-banddata from the Two Micron All Sky Survey. Black hole masses are foundusing a calibrated black hole-Ks bulge luminosity relation,while bulge luminosities are measured by means of a two-dimensionalbulge-disk decomposition routine. The black hole masses are correlatedagainst a variety of parameters representing properties of the nucleusand host galaxy. Nuclear properties such as line width (FWHM [N II]), aswell as emission-line ratios (e.g., [O III]/Hβ, [O I]/Hα, [NII]/Hα, and [S II]/Hα), show a very high degree ofcorrelation with black hole mass. The excellent correlation with linewidth supports the view that the emission-line gas is in virialequilibrium with either the black hole or bulge potential. The very goodemission-line ratio correlations may indicate a change in ionizingcontinuum shape with black hole mass in the sense that more massiveblack holes generate harder spectra. Apart from theinclination-corrected rotational velocity, no excellent correlations arefound between black hole mass and host galaxy properties. Significantdifferences are found between the distributions of black hole masses inearly-, mid-, and late-type spiral galaxies (subsamples A, B, and C) inthe sense that early-type galaxies have preferentially larger centralblack holes, consistent with observations that Seyfert galaxies arefound preferentially in early-type systems. The line width distributionsshow a marked difference among subsamples A, B, and C in the sense thatearlier type galaxies have larger line widths. There are also cleardifferences in line ratios between subsamples A+B and C that likely arerelated to the level of ionization in the gas. Finally, aKs-band Simien & de Vaucouleurs diagram shows excellentagreement with the original B-band relation, although there is a largedispersion at a given morphological stage.

A Survey of Merger Remnants. II. The Emerging Kinematic and Photometric Correlations
This paper is the second in a series exploring the properties of 51optically selected, single-nuclei merger remnants. Spectroscopic datahave been obtained for a subsample of 38 mergers and combined withpreviously obtained infrared photometry to test whether mergers exhibitthe same correlations as elliptical galaxies among parameters such asstellar luminosity and distribution, central stellar velocity dispersion(σ0), and metallicity. Paramount to the study is totest whether mergers lie on the fundamental plane. Measurements ofσ0 have been made using the Ca triplet absorption lineat 8500 Å for all 38 mergers in the subsample. Additionalmeasurements of σ0 were made for two of the mergers inthe subsample using the CO absorption line at 2.29 μm. The resultsindicate that mergers show a strong correlation among the parameters ofthe fundamental plane but fail to show a strong correlation betweenσ0 and metallicity (Mg2). In contrast toearlier studies, the σ0 values of the mergers areconsistent with objects that lie somewhere between intermediate-mass andluminous giant elliptical galaxies. However, the discrepancies withearlier studies appear to correlate with whether the Ca triplet or COabsorption lines are used to derive σ0, with the latteralmost always producing smaller values. Finally, the photometric andkinematic data are used to demonstrate for the first time that thecentral phase-space densities of mergers are equivalent to those inelliptical galaxies. This resolves a long-standing criticism of themerger hypothesis.Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. KeckObservatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among theCalifornia Institute of Technology, the University of California, andthe National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory wasmade possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. KeckFoundation.

Seyfert Galaxies and the Hard X-Ray Background: Artificial Chandra Observations of z=0.3 Active Galaxies
Deep X-ray surveys have resolved much of the X-ray background radiationbelow 2 keV into discrete sources, but the background above 8 keVremains largely unresolved. The obscured (type 2) active galactic nuclei(AGNs) that are expected to dominate the hard X-ray background have notyet been detected in sufficient numbers to account for the observedbackground flux. However, deep X-ray surveys have revealed large numbersof faint quiescent and starburst galaxies at moderate redshifts. Inhopes of recovering the missing AGN population, it has been suggestedthat the defining optical spectral features of low-luminosity Seyfertnuclei at large distances may be overwhelmed by their host galaxies,causing them to appear optically quiescent in deep surveys. We test thispossibility by artificially redshifting a sample of 23 nearby,well-studied active galaxies to z=0.3, testing them for X-ray AGNsignatures, and comparing them to the objects detected in deep X-raysurveys. We find that these redshifted galaxies have propertiesconsistent with the deep-field normal and optically bright, X-ray-faintgalaxy (OBXF) populations, supporting the hypothesis that the numbers ofAGNs in deep X-ray surveys are being underestimated and suggesting thatOBXFs should not be ruled out as candidate AGN hosts that couldcontribute to the hard X-ray background source population.

Extragalactic H_2O masers and X-ray absorbing column densities
Having conducted a search for the λ 1.3 cm (22 GHz) water vaporline towards galaxies with nuclear activity, large nuclear columndensities or high infrared luminosities, we present H2O spectra for NGC2273, UGC 5101, and NGC 3393 with isotropic luminosities of 7, 1500, and400 Lȯ. The H2O maser in UGC 5101 is by far the mostluminous yet found in an ultraluminous infrared galaxy. NGC 3393 revealsthe classic spectrum of a "disk maser", represented by three distinctgroups of Doppler components. As in all other known cases except NGC4258, the rotation velocity of the putative masing disk is well below1000 km s-1. Based on the literature and archive data, X-rayabsorbing column densities are compiled for the 64 galaxies withreported maser sources beyond the Magellanic Clouds. For NGC 2782 andNGC 5728, we present Chandra archive data that indicate the presence ofan active galactic nucleus in both galaxies. Modeling the hard nuclearX-ray emission, NGC 2782 is best fit by a high energy reflectionspectrum with NH  1024 cm-2. ForNGC 5728, partial absorption with a power law spectrum indicatesNH 8 × 1023 cm-2. Thecorrelation between absorbing column and H2O emission is analyzed. Thereis a striking difference between kilo- and megamasers with megamasersbeing associated with higher column densities. All kilomasers (L_H_2O< 10 Lȯ) except NGC 2273 and NGC 5194 areCompton-thin, i.e. their absorbing columns are <1024cm-2. Among the H{2}O megamasers, 50% arise fromCompton-thick and 85% from heavily obscured (>1023cm-2) active galactic nuclei. These values are not larger butconsistent with those from samples of Seyfert 2 galaxies not selected onthe basis of maser emission. The similarity in column densities can beexplained by small deviations in position between maser spots andnuclear X-ray source and a high degree of clumpiness in thecircumnuclear interstellar medium.

Ultraluminous X-Ray Sources in Nearby Galaxies from ROSAT High Resolution Imager Observations I. Data Analysis
X-ray observations have revealed in other galaxies a class ofextranuclear X-ray point sources with X-ray luminosities of1039-1041 ergs s-1, exceeding theEddington luminosity for stellar mass X-ray binaries. Theseultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) may be powered by intermediate-massblack holes of a few thousand Msolar or stellar mass blackholes with special radiation processes. In this paper, we present asurvey of ULXs in 313 nearby galaxies withD25>1' within 40 Mpc with 467 ROSAT HighResolution Imager (HRI) archival observations. The HRI observations arereduced with uniform procedures, refined by simulations that help definethe point source detection algorithm employed in this survey. A sampleof 562 extragalactic X-ray point sources withLX=1038-1043 ergs s-1 isextracted from 173 survey galaxies, including 106 ULX candidates withinthe D25 isophotes of 63 galaxies and 110 ULX candidatesbetween 1D25 and 2D25 of 64 galaxies, from which aclean sample of 109 ULXs is constructed to minimize the contaminationfrom foreground or background objects. The strong connection betweenULXs and star formation is confirmed based on the striking preference ofULXs to occur in late-type galaxies, especially in star-forming regionssuch as spiral arms. ULXs are variable on timescales over days to yearsand exhibit a variety of long term variability patterns. Theidentifications of ULXs in the clean sample show some ULXs identified assupernovae (remnants), H II regions/nebulae, or young massive stars instar-forming regions, and a few other ULXs identified as old globularclusters. In a subsequent paper, the statistic properties of the surveywill be studied to calculate the occurrence frequencies and luminosityfunctions for ULXs in different types of galaxies to shed light on thenature of these enigmatic sources.

The Central Region of Barred Galaxies: Molecular Environment, Starbursts, and Secular Evolution
Stellar bars drive gas into the circumnuclear (CN) region of galaxies.To investigate the fate of the CN gas and star formation (SF), we studya sample of barred nonstarbursts and starbursts with high-resolution CO,optical, Hα, radio continuum, Brγ, and HST data, and findthe following. (1) The inner kiloparsec of bars differs markedly fromthe outer disk. It hosts molecular gas surface densitiesΣgas-m of 500-3500 Msolar pc-2,gas mass fractions of 10%-30%, and epicyclic frequencies of several100-1000 km s-1 kpc-1. Consequently, in the CNregion gravitational instabilities can only grow at high gas densitiesand on short timescales, explaining in part why powerful starburstsreside there. (2) Across the sample, we find bar pattern speeds withupper limits of 43-115 km s-1 pc-1 and outer innerLindblad resonance radii of >500 pc. (3) Barred starbursts andnonstarbursts have CN SF rates of 3-11 and 0.1-2 Msolaryr-1, despite similar CN gas masses. TheΣgas-m value in the starbursts is larger (1000-3500Msolar pc-2) and close to the Toomre criticaldensity over a large region. (4) Molecular gas makes up 10%-30% of theCN dynamical mass and fuels large CN SF rates in the starbursts,building young, massive, high-V/σ components. Implications forsecular evolution along the Hubble sequence are discussed.

Metallicity Effects on Mid-Infrared Colors and the 8 μm PAH Emission in Galaxies
We examine colors from 3.6 to 24 μm as a function of metallicity(O/H) for a sample of 34 galaxies. The galaxies range over 2 orders ofmagnitude in metallicity. They display an abrupt shift in the 8μm-to-24 μm color for metallicities between one-third andone-fifth of the solar value. The mean 8-to-24 μm flux density ratiobelow and above 12+log(O/H)=8.2 is 0.08+/-0.04 and 0.70+/-0.53,respectively. We use mid-IR colors and spectroscopy to demonstrate thatthe shift is primarily due to a decrease in the 8 μm flux density, asopposed to an increase in the 24 μm flux density. This result is mostsimply interpreted as being due to a weakening at low metallicity of themid-IR emission bands usually attributed to PAHs (polycyclic aromatichydrocarbons) relative to the small-grain dust emission. However,existing empirical spectral energy distribution models cannot accountfor the observed short-wavelength (below 8 μm) colors of thelow-metallicity galaxies merely by reducing the strength of the PAHfeatures; some other emission source (e.g., hot dust) is required.

Probing the Dust Obscuration in Seyfert Galaxies using Infrared Spectroscopy. II. Implication for the Unification of Seyfert Galaxies
We report near-IR spectroscopic observations of 11 Seyfert galaxies (sixSeyfert 1s, one Seyfert 1.9, and four Seyfert 2s) and additionalgalaxies (four LINERs, two H II, and one type 2 transition) forcomparison, obtained using the Gemini twin-channel near-IR camera on theShane 3 m telescope at Lick Observatory. With the unique design of theGemini camera, full J and K spectra were taken simultaneously throughthe same slit. This produced accurate line ratios of hydrogenrecombination lines over a large wavelength baseline. For the Seyfert 1s(<=1.5), the line ratios of Paβ/Brγ are not onlycomparable in both broad- and narrow-line regions but also consistentwith case B recombination, indicating little or no reddening in bothnarrow- and broad-line regions. Seyfert 2 (>1.5) galaxies, however,show substantial reddening toward the narrow-line regions. We compareoptical reddening data from the literature and find significant supportfor the dichotomy between Seyfert 1s and Seyfert 2s, at least inlow-luminosity objects. Two different scenarios are explored to explainthe observed difference in reddening: a difference in reddening due toan extended dusty torus under active galactic nucleus unification, and adifference due to a different grain size distribution between the twoSeyfert types. We also discuss a similar potential difference found inthe strength of the 9.7 μm silicate line, along with a possiblecorrelation between the narrow-line reddening and the strength of thesilicate absorption line. We also analyzed CO band head absorptionfeatures longward of 2.3 μm to look for nonstellar contamination andevidence of recent star formation activity. The CO band head in Seyfert1s shows heavy contamination from nonstellar radiation, which iscorrelated with an H-K nuclear color excess. We confirm that the COspectroscopic indices in both Seyfert types do not show evidence ofrecent star formation. Taking the nonstellar contamination into account,there is little evidence from the CO index for a difference in starformation rates in the nuclei of Seyfert 1s and Seyfert 2s in ourlow-luminosity sample.

Dust properties of UV bright galaxies at z ~ 2
We investigate the properties of the extinction curve in the rest-frameUV for a sample of 34 UV-luminous galaxies at 2 < z < 2.5,selected from the FORS Deep Field (FDF) spectroscopic survey. A newparametric description of the rest-frame UV spectral energy distributionis adopted; its sensitivity to properties of the stellar populations orof dust attenuation is established with the use of models. The latterare computed by combining composite stellar population models andcalculations of radiative transfer of the stellar and scatteredradiation through the dusty interstellar medium (ISM) for a dust/starsconfiguration describing dust attenuation in local starbursts. In thefavoured configuration the stars are enveloped by a shell with atwo-phase, clumpy, dusty ISM. The distribution of the z ˜ 2UV-luminous FDF galaxies in several diagnostic diagrams shows that theirextinction curves range between those typical of the Small and LargeMagellanic Clouds (SMC and LMC, respectively). For the majority ofstrongly reddened objects having a UV continuum slope β > -0.4 asignificant 2175 Å absorption feature (or "UV bump") is inferred,indicating an LMC-like extinction curve. On the other hand, the UVcontinua of the least reddened objects are mostly consistent withSMC-like extinction curves, lacking a significant UV bump, as for thesample of local starbursts investigated by Calzetti and collaborators.Furthermore, the most opaque (⠘ 0) and, thus (for ourmodels), dustiest UV-luminous FDF galaxies tend to be among the mostmetal-rich, most massive, and largest systems at z ˜ 2, indicating< Z > ˜ 0.5 {-} 1 Zȯ, < Mstars> ˜ 6 × 1010 Mȯ, and ˜ 4 kpc, respectively. The presence of the UVbump does not seem to depend on the total metallicity, as given by theequivalent width (EW) of the C IV doublet. Conversely, it seems to beassociated with a large average EW of the six most prominentinterstellar low-ionisation absorption lines falling in the FORSspectra. The average EW of these saturated lines offers a proxy for theISM topology. We interpret these results as the evidence for adifference in the properties of the dusty ISM among the most evolvedUV-luminous, massive galaxies at z ˜ 2.

The Westerbork HI survey of spiral and irregular galaxies. III. HI observations of early-type disk galaxies
We present Hi observations of 68 early-type disk galaxies from the WHISPsurvey. They have morphological types between S0 and Sab and absoluteB-band magnitudes between -14 and -22. These galaxies form the massive,high surface-brightness extreme of the disk galaxy population, few ofwhich have been imaged in Hi before. The Hi properties of the galaxiesin our sample span a large range; the average values of MHI/LB and DH I/D25 are comparableto the ones found in later-type spirals, but the dispersions around themean are larger. No significant differences are found between the S0/S0aand the Sa/Sab galaxies. Our early-type disk galaxies follow the same Himass-diameter relation as later-type spiral galaxies, but theireffective Hi surface densities are slightly lower than those found inlater-type systems. In some galaxies, distinct rings of Hi emissioncoincide with regions of enhanced star formation, even though theaverage gas densities are far below the threshold of star formationderived by Kennicutt (1989, ApJ, 344, 685). Apparently, additionalmechanisms, as yet unknown, regulate star formation at low surfacedensities. Many of the galaxies in our sample have lopsided gasmorphologies; in most cases this can be linked to recent or ongoinginteractions or merger events. Asymmetries are rare in quiescentgalaxies. Kinematic lopsidedness is rare, both in interacting andisolated systems. In the appendix, we present an atlas of the Hiobservations: for all galaxies we show Hi surface density maps, globalprofiles, velocity fields and radial surface density profiles.

New H2O masers in Seyfert and FIR bright galaxies
Using the Effelsberg 100-m telescope, detections of four extragalacticwater vapor masers are reported. Isotropic luminosities are ~50, 1000, 1and 230 Lȯ for Mrk 1066 (UGC 2456), Mrk 34, NGC 3556 andArp 299, respectively. Mrk 34 contains by far the most distant and oneof the most luminous water vapor megamasers so far reported in a Seyfertgalaxy. The interacting system Arp 299 appears to show two maserhotspots separated by approximately 20´´. With these newresults and even more recent data from Braatz et al. (2004, ApJ, 617,L29), the detection rate in our sample of Seyferts with known jet-NarrowLine Region interactions becomes 50% (7/14), while in star forminggalaxies with high (S100~μ m>50 Jy) far infrared fluxesthe detection rate is 22% (10/45). The jet-NLR interaction sample maynot only contain “jet-masers” but also a significant numberof accretion “disk-masers” like those seen in NGC 4258. Astatistical analysis of 53 extragalactic H2O sources (excluding theGalaxy and the Magellanic Clouds) indicates (1) that the correlationbetween IRAS Point Source and H2O luminosities, established forindividual star forming regions in the galactic disk, also holds forAGN-dominated megamaser galaxies; (2) that maser luminosities are notcorrelated with 60 μm/100 μm color temperatures; and (3) that onlya small fraction of the luminous megamasers (L_H_2O > 100Lȯ) detectable with 100-m sized telescopes have so farbeen identified. The H2O luminosity function (LF) suggests that thenumber of galaxies with 1 Lȯ < L_H_2O < 10Lȯ, the transition range between“kilomasers” (mostly star formation) and“megamasers” (active galactic nuclei), is small. The overallslope of the LF, ~-1.5, indicates that the number of detectable masersis almost independent of their luminosity. If the LF is not steepeningat very high maser luminosities and if it is possible to find suitablecandidate sources, H2O megamasers at significant redshifts should bedetectable even with present day state-of-the-art facilities.

A catalogue of ultraluminous X-ray sources in external galaxies
We present a catalogue of ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) in externalgalaxies. The aim of this catalogue is to provide easy access to theproperties of ULXs, their possible counterparts at other wavelengths(optical, IR, and radio), and their host galaxies. The cataloguecontains 229 ULXs reported in the literature until April 2004. Most ULXsare stellar-mass-black hole X-ray binaries, but it is not excluded thatsome ULXs could be intermediate-mass black holes. A small fraction ofthe candidate ULXs may be background Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) andSupernova Remnants (SNRs). ULXs with luminosity above 1040ergs s-1 are found in both starburst galaxies and in thehalos of early-type galaxies.Table 1 is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymousftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/429/1125

Infrared mergers and infrared quasi-stellar objects with galactic winds - II. NGC5514: two extranuclear starbursts with LINER properties and a supergiant bubble in the rupture phase
A study of the morphology, kinematics and ionization structure of theinfrared (IR) merger NGC5514 is presented. This study is based mainly onINTEGRAL two-dimensional (2D) spectroscopy (obtained at the 4.2-mWilliam Herschel Telescope, WHT), plus optical and near-IR images. Clearevidence of two extranuclear starbursts with young outflows (OFs) andlow-ionization nuclear emission region (LINER) activity are reported.One of these OFs has generated a supergiant bubble and the other isassociated with an extended complex of HII regions.In the galactic bubble it was found that: (i) the [SII], Hα,[NII], [OI] and [OIII] emission-line maps show a bubble with a distortedellipsoidal shape, with major and minor axes of ~6.5 kpc [13.6 arcsec;at position angle (PA) = 120°+/- 10°] and ~4.5 kpc (9.6 arcsec);(ii) these maps depict four main knots, a very strong one and threeothers more compact and located at the border; (iii) the centre of thebubble is located at ~4.1 kpc (8.5 arcsec) to the west of the mainnucleus; (iv) the WHT spectra show, in this area, two strong components:blue and red emission-line systems, probably associated with emissionfrom the near and far side of the external shell, for which the mean OFvelocities were measured as VOFblue= (-320 +/- 20)kms-1 and VOFred= (+265 +/- 25) kms-1(v) these two components depict LINER properties, probably associatedwith large-scale OF + shocks; (vi) at the east border, the kinematics ofthe ionized gas and the [SII] emission-line maps show an extendedejection of 4 kpc aligned with the PA of the major axis; (vii) threeother ejections were found, two of them perpendicular to the extendedone. Each ejection starts in one of the knots. These results suggestthat the bubble is in the rupture phase.For the complex of giant HII regions it was found that: (i) theHα, [NII] and [SII] emission-line maps show a compact strongemission area (peaking at ~810 pc ~1.7 arcsec, to the east of the secondnucleus) and faint extended emission with an elongated shape, and majorand minor axes of ~5.1 kpc (10.8 arcsec; at PA ~20°) and ~2.9 kpc(6.0 arcsec); (ii) inside this complex, the spectra show HII region andtransition LINER/HII characteristics; (iii) at the border of thisextended HII area the spectra have outflow components and LINERproperties.INTEGRAL 2D [NII], Hα, [SII] and [OIII] velocity fields (VFs) arepresented. These VF maps show results consistent with an expansion ofthe bubble, plus four ejections of ionized gas. The U, B, V, I, J, H andKS images show a pre-merger morphology, from which faintfilaments of emission emerge, centred on the bubble. The ionizationstructure and the physical conditions were analysed using the following2D emission-line ratio and width maps: [SII]/Hα, [NII]/Hα,[OI]/Hα, [OIII]/Hβ and FWHM-[NII]. In the region of thebubble, 100 per cent of the [NII]/Hα and [SII]/Hα ratiosshow very high values (>0.8) consistent with LINER processesassociated with high-velocity shocks. These new results support theprevious proposition that extreme nuclear and `extranuclear' starburstswith galactic winds + shocks play an important role in the evolution ofIR mergers/quasi-stellar objects.

Molecular Gas in Tidal Dwarf Galaxies: On-going Galaxy Formation
We investigate the process of galaxy formation as can be observed in theonly currently forming galaxies - the so-called Tidal Dwarf Galaxies,hereafter TDGs - through observations of the molecular gas detected viaits CO (Carbon Monoxide) emission. Molecular gas is a key element in thegalaxy formation process, providing the link between a cloud of gas anda bona fide galaxy. We have now detected CO in 9 TDGs with an overalldetection rate of 80%, showing that molecular gas is abundant in TDGs,up to a few 108 Mȯ. The CO emissioncoincides both spatially and kinematically with the HI emission,indicating that the molecular gas forms from the atomic hydrogen wherethe HI column density is high. A possible trend of more evolved TDGshaving greater molecular gas masses is observed, in accord with thetransformation of HI into H2. Although uncertainties arestill large for individual objects as the geometry is unknown, we findthat the ``dynamical" masses of TDGs, estimated from the CO line widths,do not seem to be greater than the ``visible" masses (HI + H2+ a stellar component), i.e., TDGs require no dark matter. We provideevidence that TDGs are self-gravitating entities, implying that we arewitnessing the ensemble of processes in galaxy formation: concentrationof large amounts of gas in a bound object, condensation of the gas,which is atomic at this point, to form molecular gas and the subsequentstar formation from the dense molecular component.

HI Tidal Tails, Bridges and Clouds
There is plenty of intergalactic H I gas without any obvious stellarcontent ranging from (1) extended gas envelopes around some normal andpeculiar galaxies, (2) tidal tails/bridges in interacting or merginggalaxy systems, (3) large-scale rings around early type galaxies, and(4) detached clouds at varying distances from associated galaxies, butthere are few or no isolated H I clouds.The HIPASS Bright Galaxy Catalog, which covers the whole southern sky,contains only one definite extragalactic H I cloud which is locatedclose to the galaxy NGC 2442 whereas it is sensitive to isolated H Iclouds with MHI > 106 × D2Mȯ. The space density of H I clouds is therefore about1/1000th that of galaxies with the same MHI.

A Green Bank Telescope Search for Water Masers in Nearby Active Galactic Nuclei
Using the Green Bank Telescope, we have conducted a survey for 1.3 cmwater maser emission toward the nuclei of nearby active galaxies, themost sensitive large survey for H2O masers to date. Among 145galaxies observed, maser emission was newly detected in 11 sources andconfirmed in one other. Our survey targeted nearby (v<12,000 kms-1), mainly type 2 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) north ofδ=-20deg and includes a few additional sources as well.We find that more than one-third of Seyfert 2 galaxies have strong maseremission, although the detection rate declines beyond v~5000 kms-1 because of sensitivity limits. Two of the masersdiscovered during this survey are found in unexpected hosts: NGC 4151(Seyfert 1.5) and NGC 2782 (starburst). We discuss the possiblerelations between the large X-ray column to NGC 4151 and a possiblehidden AGN in NGC 2782 to the detected masers. Four of the masersdiscovered here, NGC 591, NGC 4388, NGC 5728, and NGC 6323, havehigh-velocity lines symmetrically spaced about the systemic velocity, alikely signature of molecular gas in a nuclear accretion disk. The masersource in NGC 6323, in particular, reveals the classic spectrum of a``disk maser'' represented by three distinct groups of Dopplercomponents. Future single-dish and VLBI observations of these fourgalaxies could provide a measurement of the distance to each galaxy andof the Hubble constant, independent of standard candle calibrations.

Star Formation History and Extinction in the Central Kiloparsec of M82-like Starbursts
We report on the star formation histories and extinction in the centralkiloparsec region of a sample of starburst galaxies that have similarfar-infrared (FIR), 10 μm, and K-band luminosities as those of thearchetype starburst M82. Our study is based on new optical spectra andpreviously published K-band photometric data, both sampling the samearea around the nucleus. Model starburst spectra were synthesized as acombination of stellar populations of distinct ages formed over theHubble time and were fitted to the observed optical spectra and K-bandflux. The model is able to reproduce simultaneously the equivalentwidths of emission and absorption lines, the continuum fluxes between3500 and 7000 Å, and the K-band and FIR flux. A good fit requiresa minimum of three populations: (1) a young population of age <=8Myr, with its corresponding nebular emission, (2) an intermediate-agepopulation (age <500 Myr), and (3) an old population that forms partof the underlying disk or/and bulge population. The birthrate parameter,which is defined as the ratio of the current star formation rate to theaverage past rate, is found to be in the range 1-12. The contribution ofthe old population to the K-band luminosity depends on the birthrateparameter and remains above 60% in the majority of the sample galaxies.Even in the blue band, the intermediate-age and old populationscontribute more than 40% of the total flux in all the cases. Arelatively high contribution from the old stars to the K-band nuclearflux is also apparent from the strength of the 4000 Å break andthe Ca II K line. The extinction of the old population is found to bearound half that of the young population. The contribution to thecontinuum from the relatively old stars has the effect of diluting theemission equivalent widths below the values expected for young bursts.The mean dilution factors are found to be 5 and 3 for the Hα andHβ lines, respectively.

A Deep K-Band Photometric Survey of Merger Remnants
We present K-band photometry for 51 candidate merger remnants to assessthe viability of whether spiral-spiral mergers can produce bona fideelliptical galaxies. Using both the de Vaucouleurs r1/4 andSérsic r1/n fitting laws, it is found that the stellarcomponent in a majority of the galaxies in the sample has undergoneviolent relaxation. However, the sample shows evidence for incompletephase mixing. The analysis also indicates the presence of ``excesslight'' in the surface brightness profiles of nearly one-third of themerger remnants. Circumstantial evidence suggests that this is due tothe effects of a starburst induced by the dissipative collapse of thegas. The integrated light of the galaxies also shows that mergers canmake L* elliptical galaxies, in contrast to earlier infrared studies.The isophotal shapes and related structural parameters are alsodiscussed, including the fact that 70% of the sample show evidence fordisky isophotes. The data and results presented are part of a largerphotometric and spectroscopic campaign to thoroughly investigate a largesample of mergers in the local universe.

Inner-truncated Disks in Galaxies
We present an analysis of the disk brightness profiles of 218 spiral andlenticular galaxies. At least 28% of disk galaxies exhibit innertruncations in these profiles. There are no significant trends oftruncation incidence with Hubble type, but the incidence among barredsystems is 49%, more than 4 times that for nonbarred galaxies. However,not all barred systems have inner truncations, and not allinner-truncated systems are currently barred. Truncations represent areal dearth of disk stars in the inner regions and are not an artifactof our selection or fitting procedures nor the result of obscuration bydust. Disk surface brightness profiles in the outer regions are wellrepresented by simple exponentials for both truncated and nontruncateddisks. However, truncated and nontruncated systems have systematicallydifferent slopes and central surface brightness parameters for theirdisk brightness distributions. Truncation radii do not appear tocorrelate well with the sizes or brightnesses of the bulges. Thissuggests that the low angular momentum material apparently missing fromthe inner disk was not simply consumed in forming the bulge population.Disk parameters and the statistics of bar orientations in our sampleindicate that the missing stars of the inner disk have not simply beenredistributed azimuthally into bar structures. The sharpness of thebrightness truncations and their locations with respect to othergalactic structures suggest that resonances associated with diskkinematics, or tidal interactions with the mass of bulge stars, might beresponsible for this phenomenon.

2-10 keV luminosity of high-mass binaries as a gauge of ongoing star-formation rate
Based on recent work on spectral decomposition of the emission ofstar-forming galaxies, we assess whether the integrated 2-10 keVemission from high-mass X-ray binaries (HMXBs),L2-10HMXB, can be used as a reliable estimator ofongoing star formation rate (SFR). Using a sample of 46 local (z 0.1) star-forming galaxies, and spectral modeling of ASCA, BeppoSAX, andXMM-Newton data, we demonstrate the existence of a linear SFR -L2-10^ HMXB relation which holds over ˜5 decades in X-rayluminosity and SFR. The total 2-10 keV luminosity is not a precise SFRindicator because at low SFR (i.e., in normal andmoderately-starbursting galaxies) it is substantially affected by theemission of low-mass X-ray binaries, which do not trace the current SFRdue to their long evolution lifetimes, while at very high SFR (i.e., forvery luminous FIR-selected galaxies) it is frequently affected by thepresence of strongly obscured AGNs. The availability of purelySB-powered galaxies - whose 2-10 keV emission is mainly due to HMXBs -allows us to properly calibrate the SFR -L2-10HMXB relation. The SFR -L2-10HMXB relation holds also for distant (z ˜1) galaxies in the Hubble Deep Field North sample, for which we lackspectral information, but whose SFR can be estimated from deep radiodata. If confirmed by more detailed observations, it may be possible touse the deduced relation to identify distant galaxies that are X-rayoverluminous for their (independently estimated) SFR, and are thereforelikely to hide strongly absorbed AGNs.Appendix A is only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org

Dust masses and star formation in bright IRAS galaxies. Application of a physical model for the interpretation of FIR observations
We address the problem of modeling the far-infrared (FIR) spectrum andderiving the star-formation rate (SFR) and the dust mass of spiralgalaxies. We use the realistic physical model of Popescu et al.(\cite{popescu}) to describe the overall ultra-violet (UV), optical andFIR spectral energy distribution (SED) of a spiral galaxy. The modeltakes into account the 3-dimensional old and young stellar distributionsin the bulge and the disk of a galaxy, together with the dust geometry.The geometrical characteristics of the galaxy and the intrinsic opticaland near-infrared spectra are determined by the galaxy's observed K-bandphotometry. The UV part of the spectrum is assumed to be proportional tothe SFR through the use of population synthesis models. By solving theradiative transfer equation, we are able to determine the absorbedenergy, the dust temperature and the resulting FIR spectrum. The modelhas only three free parameters: SFR, dust mass, and the fraction of theUV radiation which is absorbed locally by dense dust in the HII regions.Using this model, we are able to fit well the FIR spectra of 62 brightIRAS galaxies from the ``SCUBA Local Universe Galaxy Survey" of Dunne etal. (\cite{dunne1}). As a result, we are able to determine, amongothers, their SFR and dust mass. We find that, on average, the SFR (inabsolute units), the star-formation efficiency, the SFR surface densityand the ratio of FIR luminosity over the total intrinsic luminosity, arelarger than the respective values of typical spiral galaxies of the samemorphological type. We also find that the mean gas-to-dust mass ratio isclose to the Galactic value, while the average central face-on opticaldepth of these galaxies in the V band is 2.3. Finally, we find a strongcorrelation between SFR or dust mass and observed FIR quantities liketotal FIR luminosity or FIR luminosity at 100 and 850 μm. Thesecorrelations yield well-defined relations, which can be used todetermine a spiral galaxy's SFR and dust-mass content from FIRobservations.

Minor-axis velocity gradients in disk galaxies
We present the ionized-gas kinematics and photometry of a sample of 4spiral galaxies which are characterized by a zero-velocity plateau alongthe major axis and a velocity gradient along the minor axis,respectively. By combining these new kinematical data with thoseavailable in the literature for the ionized-gas component of the S0s andspirals listed in the Revised Shapley-Ames Catalog of Bright Galaxies werealized that about 50% of unbarred galaxies show a remarkable gasvelocity gradient along the optical minor axis. This fraction rises toabout 60% if we include unbarred galaxies with an irregular velocityprofile along the minor axis. This phenomenon is observed all along theHubble sequence of disk galaxies, and it is particularly frequent inearly-type spirals. Since minor-axis velocity gradients are unexpectedif the gas is moving onto circular orbits in a disk coplanar to thestellar one, we conclude that non-circular and off-plane gas motions arenot rare in the inner regions of disk galaxies.Based on observations carried out at the European Southern Observatoryin La Silla (Chile) (ESO 69.B-0706 and 70.B-0338), with the MultipleMirror Telescope which is a joint facility of the SmithsonianInstitution and the University of Arizona, and with the ItalianTelescopio Nazionale Galileo (AOT-5, 3-18) at the Observatorio del Roquede los Muchachos in La Palma (Spain).Table 1 is only available in electronic form athttp://www.edpsciences.org. Table 5 is only available in electronic format the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( orvia http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/416/507

Radio emission from AGN detected by the VLA FIRST survey
Using the most recent (April 2003) version of the VLA FIRST survey radiocatalog, we have searched for radio emission from >2800 AGN takenfrom the most recent (2001) version of the Veron-Cetty and Veron AGNcatalog. These AGN lie in the ˜9033 square degrees of sky alreadycovered by the VLA FIRST survey. Our work has resulted in positivedetection of radio emission from 775 AGN of which 214 are new detectionsat radio wavelengths.Tables 3 and 4 are only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/416/35

Circumnuclear Structures in the Interacting Seyfert Galaxy NGC 1241: Kinematics and Optical/Infrared Morphology
We studied the spiral pattern in the inner 6.5" (1''=257 pc)central regions of the interacting active nucleus galaxy NGC 1241 usingGemini North Telescope high-resolution Ks- and J-band imagesand Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Paα and H- and (V+R)-band imageswith high resolution in the range from ~0.1" to ~0.3" along withintermediate to large-scale spectroscopy using the MultifunctionSpectrograph at the Córdoba Observatory in Argentina. Ouranalysis of Paα emission images revealed a faint two-armed leadingspiral pattern ending in the 5.6"×3.4" clumpy ring discovered byBöker and coworkers, harboring a 1.6" long barlike structure almostperpendicular to the large-scale bar of NGC 1241. When we appliedtwo-dimensional Fourier analysis at circumnuclear scales, we found thata two-arm trailing mode was dominant in Ks- and J-band imageswhile the (V+R)-band images showed more complex structural features witha strong one-armed trailing mode. One-dimensional Fourier analysisshowed a corotation (CR) located outward from the edge of the Paαbar. Our kinematics data gave an angular speed ΩCN of350+/-50 km s-1 kpc-1 for the trailing modepattern. The rotation curve showed that the circumnuclear ring islocated just inside the large-scale pattern inner Lindblad resonance(ILR), which has a radius of about r~1 kpc. We also found, within theuncertainties present in such measurements, that the outer Lindbladresonance (OLR) of the circumnuclear pattern is coincident with thelarge-scale pattern ILR, indicating a possible connection betweencircumnuclear and global dynamics. Nevertheless, the estimated highmolecular gas fraction (>=13%) and the inner pattern high angularspeed at the central region of NGC 1241 point to a nuclear bar formationvia self-gravitational instability.

Molecular Gas in Candidate Double-barred Galaxies. II. Cooler, Less Dense Gas Associated with Stronger Central Concentrations
We have performed a multitransition CO study of the centers of sevendouble-barred galaxies that exhibit a variety of molecular gasmorphologies to determine if the molecular gas properties are correlatedwith the nuclear morphology and star-forming activity. Near-infraredgalaxy surveys have revealed the existence of nuclear stellar bars in alarge number of barred or lenticular galaxies. High-resolution CO mapsof these galaxies exhibit a wide range of morphologies. Recentsimulations of double-barred galaxies suggest that variations in the gasproperties may allow it to respond differently to similar gravitationalpotentials. We find that the 12CO J=3-2/J=2-1 line ratio islower in galaxies with centrally concentrated gas distributions andhigher in galaxies with CO emission dispersed around the galactic centerin rings and peaks. The 13CO/12CO J=2-1 lineratios are similar for all galaxies, which indicates that theJ=3-2/J=2-1 line ratio is tracing variations in gas temperature anddensity, rather than variations in optical depth. There is evidence thatthe galaxies which contain more centralized CO distributions arecomposed of molecular gas that is cooler and less dense. Observationssuggest that the star formation rates are higher in the galaxiescontaining the warmer, denser, less centrally concentrated gas. It ispossible that either the bar dynamics are responsible for the variety ofgas distributions and densities (and hence the star formation rates) orthat the star formation alone is responsible for modifying the gasproperties.

The IRAS Revised Bright Galaxy Sample
IRAS flux densities, redshifts, and infrared luminosities are reportedfor all sources identified in the IRAS Revised Bright Galaxy Sample(RBGS), a complete flux-limited survey of all extragalactic objects withtotal 60 μm flux density greater than 5.24 Jy, covering the entiresky surveyed by IRAS at Galactic latitudes |b|>5°. The RBGS includes629 objects, with median and mean sample redshifts of 0.0082 and 0.0126,respectively, and a maximum redshift of 0.0876. The RBGS supersedes theprevious two-part IRAS Bright Galaxy Samples(BGS1+BGS2), which were compiled before the final(Pass 3) calibration of the IRAS Level 1 Archive in 1990 May. The RBGSalso makes use of more accurate and consistent automated methods tomeasure the flux of objects with extended emission. The RBGS contains 39objects that were not present in the BGS1+BGS2,and 28 objects from the BGS1+BGS2 have beendropped from RBGS because their revised 60 μm flux densities are notgreater than 5.24 Jy. Comparison of revised flux measurements forsources in both surveys shows that most flux differences are in therange ~5%-25%, although some faint sources at 12 and 25 μm differ byas much as a factor of 2. Basic properties of the RBGS sources aresummarized, including estimated total infrared luminosities, as well asupdates to cross identifications with sources from optical galaxycatalogs established using the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database. Inaddition, an atlas of images from the Digitized Sky Survey with overlaysof the IRAS position uncertainty ellipse and annotated scale bars isprovided for ease in visualizing the optical morphology in context withthe angular and metric size of each object. The revised bolometricinfrared luminosity function, φ(Lir), forinfrared-bright galaxies in the local universe remains best fit by adouble power law, φ(L)~Lα, withα=-0.6(+/-0.1) and α=-2.2(+/-0.1) below and above the``characteristic'' infrared luminosityL*ir~1010.5Lsolar,respectively. A companion paper provides IRAS High Resolution (HIRES)processing of over 100 RBGS sources where improved spatial resolutionoften provides better IRAS source positions or allows for deconvolutionof close galaxy pairs.

A New Database of Observed Spectral Energy Distributions of Nearby Starburst Galaxies from the Ultraviolet to the Far-Infrared
We present a database of UV-to-FIR data of 83 nearby starburst galaxies.The galaxies are selected based upon the availability of IUE data. Wehave recalibrated the IUE UV spectra for these galaxies by incorporatingthe most recent improvements. For 45 of these galaxies we useobservations by Storchi-Bergmann et al. and McQuade et al. for thespectra in the optical range. The NIR data are from new observationsobtained at the NASA/IRTF and the Mount Laguna Observatory, combinedwith the published results from observations at the Kitt Peak NationalObservatory. In addition, published calibrated ISO data are included toprovide mid-IR flux densities for some of the galaxies. Theoptical-to-IR data are matched as closely as possible to the IUE largeaperture. In conjunction with IRAS and ISO FIR flux densities, all thesedata form a set of observed spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of thenuclear regions of nearby starburst galaxies. The SEDs should be usefulin studying star formation and dust/gas attenuation in galaxies. We alsopresent the magnitudes in the standard BVRI and various HST/WFPC2bandpasses synthesized from the UV and optical wavelength ranges ofthese SEDs. For some of the galaxies, the HST/WFPC2 magnitudessynthesized from the SEDs are checked with those directly measured fromWFPC2 images to test the photometric errors of the optical data andtheir effective matching of apertures with the UV data. The implicationsof the new SEDs on the star formation rates and dust/gas attenuation arebriefly discussed.

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Right ascension:09h14m05.30s
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NGC 2000.0NGC 2782

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