EDP Sciences
Free Access
Volume 393, Number 2, October II 2002
Page(s) 499 - 502
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20021060

A&A 393, 499-502 (2002)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20021060

Is Messier 74 a barred spiral galaxy?

Near-infrared imaging of M 74
M. 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

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