Volume 497, Number 3, April III 2009
|Page(s)||713 - 728|
|Published online||24 February 2009|
Frequency and properties of bars in cluster and field galaxies at intermediate redshifts*
Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Observatoire de Sauverny, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Université de Genève, Observatoire de Sauverny, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
3 GEPI, CNRS-UMR8111, Observatoire de Paris, section de Meudon, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92195 Meudon Cedex, France
4 Science Center, Caltech, Pasadena CA 91125, USA
5 Department of Astronomy, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station C1400, Austin, TX 78712-0259, USA
6 School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
7 Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 1, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
8 Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
9 INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
10 Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell'Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy
11 Astronomy Department, University of Washington, Box 351580, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
12 NOAO, 950 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
13 Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
14 The Royal Library/Copenhagen University Library, Research Dept., Box 2149, 1016 Copenhagen K, Denmark
15 Observatoire Astronomique de Marseille-Provence, 38 rue Frédéric Joliot-Curie, 13388 Marseille Cedex 13, France
16 Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, National Research Council of Canada, 5071 West Saanich Road, Victoria, BC V9E 2E7, Canada
17 Ohio University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Clippinger Labs 251B, Athens, OH 45701, USA
18 Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Toulouse-Tarbes, CNRS, Université de Toulouse, 14 avenue Édouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
19 Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Accepted: 29 January 2009
We present a study of large-scale bars in field and cluster environments out to redshifts of ~0.8 using a final sample of 945 moderately inclined disk galaxies drawn from the EDisCS project. We characterize bars and their host galaxies and look for relations between the presence of a bar and the properties of the underlying disk. We investigate whether the fraction and properties of bars in clusters are different from their counterparts in the field. The properties of bars and disks are determined by ellipse fits to the surface brightness distribution of the galaxies using HST/ACS images in the F814W filter. The bar identification is based on quantitative criteria after highly inclined (> 60°) systems have been excluded. The total optical bar fraction in the redshift range (median ), averaged over the entire sample, is 25% (20% for strong bars). For the cluster and field subsamples, we measure bar fractions of 24% and 29%, respectively. We find that bars in clusters are on average longer than in the field and preferentially found close to the cluster center, where the bar fraction is somewhat higher (~31%) than at larger distances (~18%). These findings however rely on a relatively small subsample and might be affected by small number statistics. In agreement with local studies, we find that disk-dominated galaxies have a higher optical bar fraction (~45%) than bulge-dominated galaxies (~15%). This result is based on Hubble types and effective radii and does not change with redshift. The latter finding implies that bar formation or dissolution is strongly connected to the emergence of the morphological structure of a disk and is typically accompanied by a transition in the Hubble type. The question whether internal or external factors are more important for bar formation and evolution cannot be answered definitely. On the one hand, the bar fraction and properties of cluster and field samples of disk galaxies are quite similar, indicating that internal processes are crucial for bar formation. On the other hand, we find evidence that cluster centers are favorable locations for bars, which suggests that the internal processes responsible for bar growth are supported by the typical interactions taking place in such environments.
Key words: galaxies: spiral / galaxies: structure / galaxies: clusters: general / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: formation
Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile, as part of large programme 166.A-0162 (the ESO Distant Cluster Survey). Also based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associated with proposal 9476. Support for this porposal was provided by NASA through a grant from Space Telescope Science Institute.
© ESO, 2009
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