IRAS galaxies

IRAS galaxies

The class of galaxies revealed by the IRAS satellite to be ultraluminous at far-infrared wavelengths. Most galaxies detected by IRAS are isolated disk galaxies whose infrared emission can be accounted for by normal star formation. IRAS galaxies have a bolometric luminosity as large as many quasars, and optical images show most of them to be strongly interacting pairs of spiral galaxies with exceptionally luminous nuclei. Their spectra indicate the presence of intense star formation, sometimes with the addition of an active nucleus, and show that the galaxies are rich in molecular gas. Such galaxies may well be the dust-shrouded predecessors of quasars that have been triggered with the intense starburst activity by the merger of the two spiral galaxies. The most extreme examples, with a far-infrared luminosity in excess of 1012 solar luminosities, are known as ultraluminous and hyperluminous IRAS galaxies.
References in periodicals archive ?
It has been postulated that if the IRAS galaxies exist at sufficient distances, around z = 2, they could contribute the necessary X-rays to complete the background.
Because the void is evidently region of space with a below-average density of galaxies, and because earlier surveys have shown that the number of "IRAS" galaxies closely tracks the overall density of bright, ordinary galaxies, astronomers would have expected to find noticeable deficiency in the number of IRAS galaxies.