First results from SPIFFI, II: The luminous infrared galaxy NGC 6240 and the luminous sub-millimeter galaxy SMMJ 14011+0252
This is the second of two papers (I: Horrobin et al. 2003) on the first scientific results from the SPIFFI integral field spectrometer at the VLT. Here we discuss the observations and properties of the prototypical luminous infrared galaxy NGC 6240 and the luminous sub-millimeter galaxy SMMJ 14011+0252. Taking full advantage of the excellent seeing conditions of 0.27'', our integral field spectroscopy data allow us for the first time to study in detail the stellar and gas dynamics in NGC 6240 on scales of 125 pc, and to establish a galactic shock as the origin of the strong emission from molecular hydrogen. Our observations of SMMJ 14011+0252 provide us with deep, spatially resolved near infrared spectra of the SCUBA selected luminous submillimeter galaxy at a redshift of z=2.565, revealing a remarkably old, massive and metal-rich starburst galaxy for the early epoch at which it is observed.