VIXENS: VIRUS-P Investigation of the eXtreme ENvironments of Starbursts

VIXENS is a survey of 15 interacting/starburst galaxies using the integral field unit spectrograph VIRUS-P at McDonald Observatory. The goal of our survey is to investigate the relation between star formation and gas content in the extreme environments of interacting galaxy pairs and mergers on spatially resolved scales of 0.2-0.8 kpc. Galaxy interactions drastically change the interstellar medium as they lead to large supercritical gas densities via shocks and gravitational torques, which drive and pile gas into the central regions. Because of this extreme build up of gas, these systems host some of the most powerful sites of star formation in the Universe.

Our survey will use the H-alpha recombination line from VIRUS-P, as well as Spitzer, and GALEX data to investigate star formation. We will use archival CO(J=1-0) and HI maps, as well as dense gas single dish data from our IRAM and Nobeyama surveys (P.I. T. Davis) and maps of dense HCN(J=1-0) gas from CARMA (P.I.s A. Heiderman/T. Davis) and CO(J=3-2) from the SMA (P.I. C. Wilson).

Please see our VIXENS First Results Conference Proceeding for more details on the survey and first results on late interaction phase merger Arp 299.

VIRUS-P Observations and ancillary data collection status for VIXENS, as well as information on our sample galaxies can be found here: VIXENS Status

VIXENS Sample:

The VIXENS sample is shown above. The white boxes are and overlay of VIRUS-P field of view and the yellow lines indicate a scale of 10 kpc.

Our paper on M51a from the VENGA Survey: Spatially Resolved Star Formation Law From Integral Field Spectroscopy: VIRUS-P Observations of NGC 5194

To find out more information on our sister survey (VENGA) see our survey design and first results paper: astroph/1001.5035 or visit the VENGA website.

Last updated 01/20/12 by A. Heiderman