Circumnuclear Star Formation in M100
Near-infrared (JHK) images of the nucleus of the barred spiral galaxy M100 (NGC 4321) have been obtained using a high-bandwidth tip-tilt secondary and fast guider system on the 3.8 m United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT). The resulting images, with a resolution of 0.34″ at K, reveal for the first time a host of compact ‘knots’, which appear to be the result of a recent burst (or bursts) of star formation. Confirmation of this comes from K-band spectroscopy of these knots with CGS4 on UKIRT, which shows Brγ emission and CO absorption features. A comparison with starburst evolutionary models suggests ages for these knots of between 17 and 27 Myr, and a stellar population dominated by late-type supergiants.