EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 372, Number 3, June IV 2001
Page(s) 803 - 819
Section Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20010587

A&A 372, 803-819 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20010587

Star formation onset in baryonic disks: The role of a triaxial halo

P. Mazzei1 and A. Curir2

1  Osservatorio Astronomico, Vicolo Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy
2  Osservatorio Astronomico, Str. Osservatorio 20, 10025 Pino Torinese, Torino, Italy

(Received 30 October 2000 / Accepted 12 April 2001)

We investigate the effects of the onset of star formation on the growth of bar instability using a smooth particle hydrodynamics code implemented to account for chemo-photometric evolution from UV to near-IR wavelengths. We analyze the role of a non axisymmetric dark matter halo on the bar triggering and the feedback due to the ongoing star formation rate in the disk. We find that the dark matter halo plays a very important role in the evolution of the luminous matter. The star formation rate (SFR) depends indeed both on its mass, which leads the total gravitational field, and on its dynamical state. Stronger initial bursts of star formation are triggered in the more massive unrelaxed haloes than in the relaxed ones, which are also the more concentrated at the beginning. We point out further that the dark matter concentration is different in haloes with a different initial triaxiality ratio, suggesting a dependence of the SFR also on the halo geometry. By mapping the predicted B surface brightness of the new stars formed, we find that a luminous bar along the whole disk develops only in the first stages of such an instability, then later, new stars are born in the inner regions and the bar is reduced to the central 3-4 kpc. After 1.7 Gyr the young stellar component shows stronger bars in the presence of the relaxed haloes with a lower initial triaxiality ratio; strong bars still appear in the old star isodensity contours of the same systems, at variance with our results when star formation is switched off. The formation of new stars causes indeed a lower dynamical coupling between dark matter and baryonic particles, which lengthens the life-time of the bar. Colours and metallicity gradients of new stars allow us to understand deeply the observational consequences of initial geometry and dynamical state of the halo on the star formation process.

Key words: galaxies: haloes -- evolution -- kinematics and dynamics -- spiral -- stellar content

Offprint request: P. Mazzei, mazzei@pd.astro.it

© ESO 2001