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The ultraluminous interacting galaxy NGC6240


In the course of checking preliminary lists of IRAS (Infrared Astronomical Satellite) sources to see whether any of the interacting galaxies that we have been studying1 were included, we discovered that the position of the IRAS source 1650+024PO4 (ref. 2) is within a few arc seconds of one of our programme interacting galaxies, NGC6240. Examination of the Palomar sky survey prints shows that NGC6240 is the only non-stellar object within the 1 arc min IRAS error box for this source. Photometry at 10 and 20 µm from the United Kingdom IR Telescope (UKIRT) confirms that this galaxy is among the most luminous IR galaxies yet discovered. An interaction-induced burst of star formation is the most likely source of the strong IR emission.

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Wright, G., Joseph, R. & Meikle, W. The ultraluminous interacting galaxy NGC6240. Nature 309, 430–431 (1984).

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