Presented at The Central kpc of Starbursts and AGN,
La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain, 7 - 11 May, 2001.
WFPC2 images and STIS spectroscopic observations are presented of the double nucleus in the merger system NGC 6240. We find that: (a) the kinematics of the ionized gas is similar to that of the molecular gas, despite a different morphology; (b) the gaseous and stellar kinematics are quite different, suggesting an early merger stage; (c) neither the gaseous nor the stellar kinematics show an obvious sign of the supermassive black hole believed to be responsible for the X-ray emission of NGC 6240, and (d) the steep off-nuclear velocity gradient is not due to a ~ 1011 Msun black hole, by contrast to earlier suggestions.
A gzipped postscript copy of this paper is available. The text will appear in The Central kpc of Starbursts and AGN, ed. J.H. Knapen, J.E. Beckman, I. Shlosman, & T.J. Mahoney (Astronomical Society of the Pacific).
Last modified: June 20, 2001