A&A 393, 499-502 (2002)
Is Messier 74 a barred spiral galaxy?
Near-infrared imaging of M 74M. S. Seigar
Joint Astronomy Centre, 660 N. A'ohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
(Received 16 May 2002 / Accepted 18 July 2002)
We have obtained ground-based I, J and K band images of the spiral galaxy, Messier 74 (NGC 628). This galaxy has been shown to possess a circumnuclear ring of star formation from both near-infrared spectroscopy of CO absorption and sub-millimetre imaging of CO emission. Circumnuclear rings of star formation are believed to exist only as a result of a bar potential. In this paper we show evidence for a weak oval distortion in the centre of M 74. We use the results of Combes & Gerin (1985) to suggest that this weak oval potential is responsible for the circumnuclear ring of star formation observed in M 74.
Key words: galaxies: individual: M 74 -- galaxies: fundamental parameters -- galaxies: spiral -- galaxies: structure
© ESO 2002