Volume 555, July 2013
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Published online||09 July 2013|
1 University of OuluAstronomy Division, Department of Physics, PO Box 3000, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2 Finnish Centre of Astronomy with ESO (FINCA), University of Turku, Väisäläntie 20, 21500 Piikkiö, Finland
Received: 28 May 2013
Accepted: 17 June 2013
In this Letter, I distinguish “passive” inner rings as those with no current star formation as distinct from “active” inner rings that have undergone recent star formation. I built a sample of nearby galaxies with inner rings observed in the near- and mid-infrared from the NIRS0S and the S4G surveys. I used archival far-ultraviolet (FUV) and Hα imaging of 319 galaxies to diagnose whether their inner rings are passive or active. I found that passive rings are found only in early-type disc galaxies (−3 ≤ T ≤ 2). In this range of stages, 21 ± 3% and 28 ± 5% of the rings are passive according to the FUV and Hα indicators, respectively. A ring that is passive according to the FUV is always passive according to Hα, but the reverse is not always true. Ring-lenses form 30–40% of passive rings, which is four times more than the fraction of ring-lenses found in active rings in the stage range − 3 ≤ T ≤ 2. This is consistent with both a resonance and a manifold origin for the rings because both models predict purely stellar rings to be wider than their star-forming counterparts. In the case of resonance rings, the widening may be at least partly due to the dissolution of rings. If most inner rings have a resonance origin, I estimate 200 Myr to be a lower bound for their dissolution time-scale. This time-scale is of the order of one orbital period at the radius of inner rings.
Key words: galaxies: evolution / galaxies: kinematics and dynamics / galaxies: spiral / galaxies: statistics
Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
Table A.1 is also available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (184.108.40.206) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/555/L4
© ESO, 2013
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