Ultraluminous IRAS galaxies are remarkable in that they generate Quasar level lumonsities in the Far Infrared part of the spectrum. It is thought that most of this luminosity is the result of a massive starburst which is triggered by the merger of two galaxies. To date there has been very little kinematic evidence to support this claim. Here we present the first results of Fabry-Perot Imaging for these systems.

This data was acquired on the night of July 7 at the 4-meter telescope at CTIO. The first image shown below in the H-alpha intensity distribution for the source IRAS 23128-5919:

The two nuclei of the repsective merging galaxies are clearly seen in H-alpha emission (these are the two red blobs). H-alpha emission is virtually everywhere in the merging body and this is somewhat unusual but certainly is indicative of large scale star formatoin at a prodigous rate.

The velocity field is shown below:

The velocity field is quite chaotic. Note the much different velocities of the two detached regions. Whatever sign of coherent rotation there was before the merger is now gone. Galaxies and data like this are a theorists delight.

Notes: These reductions are just preliminary - final reductions will clean up a lot of the noise.

This galaxy has a redshift of around 12,000 km/s. The total angular size of the main merging body is only about 45 arcseconds. Thus all features that are seen are on the kpc scale.

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