A comparison of dynamical and molecular gas masses in very luminous infrared galaxies

L. M. Shier, M. J. Rieke, G. H. Rieke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

41 Scopus citations


Observations of the 2.3 μm bands of CO have been used to measure the central stellar velocity dispersions in NGC 1614 and IC 694. K-band images were used to constrain models of the stellar mass distribution. With these data and a spectrum of Arp 220 from the literature, we have determined the total mass within the central regions of all three galaxies. The central molecular gas masses inferred from 12CO J = 1-0 fluxes are larger than the total masses determined from stellar kinematics. Subtraction of the likely stellar mass from the total mass yields upper limits for the H2 mass that are 4-10 times less than the previously reported masses. This result supports other arguments that the ICO/MH2 ratio is not the sme in ultraluminous galaxies as it is in Milky Way giant molecular clouds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L9-L12
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 2
StatePublished - Sep 20 1994



  • Galaxies: ISM
  • Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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