Spatially Distributed Stellar Populations in Post-Starburst Galaxies Containing Radio AGN

Type Conference Paper
Names Marsha J. Wolf, E. J. Hooper
Proceedings Title Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society
Conference Name American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #219, #246.08
Volume 219
Date January 1, 2012
URL http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2012AAS...21924608W
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract We are studying the timing of galaxy merger induced star formation and AGN activity. Here we present initial results on the spatially distributed stellar populations in a sample of post-starburst galaxies with radio properties that suggest ongoing or recent AGN activity after the galaxies have largely stopped forming stars. Many of these galaxies show morphological evidence of mergers or significant interactions. To investigate the potential connection between AGN activity and star formation history, we have nearly completed a vigorous observing campaign on the WIYN telescope including deep optical spectra obtained with the SparsePak integral field unit and near infrared images from the WIYN High Resolution Infrared Camera (WHIRC). The combination of deep exposures and wide spectral coverage allows us to trace the age and metallicity history of the stars in different parts of the galaxies since the beginning of the merger/major interaction. A concurrent program of multi-frequency radio observations allows us to potentially age date the AGN activity. The timelines of these two events will place constraints on the connections between the fueling and truncation of supermassive black hole growth and star formation in the host galaxies.
UW-Madison Astronomy Home