Characterization of galactic bars from 3.6 μm S4G imaging⋆
1 Astronomy and Space Physics research center, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2 Finnish Centre of Astronomy with ESO (FINCA), University of Turku, Väisäläntie 20, 21500 Piikkiö, Finland
Received: 23 March 2015
Accepted: 27 July 2015
Context. Stellar bars play an essential role in the secular evolution of disk galaxies because they are responsible for the redistribution of matter and angular momentum. Dynamical models predict that bars become stronger and longer in time, while their rotation speed slows down.
Aims. We use the Spitzer Survey of Stellar Structure in Galaxies (S4G) 3.6 μm imaging to study the properties (length and strength) and fraction of bars at z = 0 over a wide range of galaxy masses (M∗ ≈ 108−1011 M⊙) and Hubble types (−3 ≤ T ≤ 10).
Methods. We calculated gravitational forces from the 3.6 μm images for galaxies with a disk inclination lower than 65°. We used the maximum of the tangential-to-radial force ratio in the bar region (Qb) as a measure of the bar-induced perturbation strength for a sample of ~600 barred galaxies. We also used the maximum of the normalized m = 2 Fourier density amplitude (A2max) to characterize the bar. Bar sizes were estimated i) visually; ii) from ellipse fitting; iii) from the radii of the strongest torque; and iv) from the radii of the largest m = 2 Fourier amplitude in the bar region. By combining our force calculations with the H i kinematics from the literature, we estimated the ratio of the halo-to-stellar mass (Mh/M∗) within the optical disk and by further using the universal rotation curve models, we obtained a first-order model of the rotation curve decomposition of 1128 disk galaxies.
Results. We probe possible sources of uncertainty in our Qb measurements: the assumed scale height and its radial variation, the influence of the spiral arms torques, the effect of non-stellar emission in the bar region, and the dilution of the bar forces by the dark matter halo (our models imply that only ~10% of the disks in our sample are maximal). We find that for early- and intermediate-type disks (−3 ≤ T< 5), the relatively modest influence of the dark matter halo leads to a systematic reduction of the mean Qb by about 10−15%, which is of the same order as the uncertainty associated with estimating the vertical scale height. The halo correction on Qb becomes important for later types, implying a reduction of ~20−25% for T = 7−10. Whether the halo correction is included or not, the mean Qb shows an increasing trend with T. However, the mean A2max decreases for lower mass late-type systems. These opposing trends are most likely related to the reduced force dilution by bulges when moving towards later type galaxies. Nevertheless, when treated separately, both the early- and late-type disk galaxies show a strong positive correlation between Qb and A2max. For spirals the mean ε ≈ 0.5 is nearly independent of T, but it drops among S0s (≈0.2). The Qb and ε show a relatively tight dependence, with only a slight difference between early and late disks. For spirals, all our bar strength indicators correlate with the bar length (scaled to isophotal size). Late-type bars are longer than previously found in the literature. The bar fraction shows a double-humped distribution in the Hubble sequence (~75% for Sab galaxies), with a local minimum at T = 4 (~40%), and it drops for M∗ ≲ 109.5−10 M⊙. If we use bar identification methods based on Fourier decomposition or ellipse fitting instead of the morphological classification, the bar fraction decreases by ~30−50% for late-type systems with T ≥ 5 and correlates with Mh/M∗. Our Mh/M∗ ratios agree well with studies based on weak lensing analysis, abundance matching, and halo occupation distribution methods, under the assumption that the halo inside the optical disk contributes roughly a constant fraction of the total halo mass (~4%).
Conclusions. We find possible evidence for the growth of bars within a Hubble time; as (1) bars in early-type galaxies show larger density amplitudes and disk-relative sizes than their intermediate-type counterparts; and (2) long bars are typically strong. We also observe two clearly distinct types of bars, between early- and intermediate-type galaxies (T< 5) on one side, and the late-type systems on the other, based on the differences in the bar properties. Most likely this distinction is connected to the higher halo-to-stellar ratio that we observe in later types, which affects the disk stability properties.
Key words: Galaxy: evolution / Galaxy: disk / Galaxy: structure
Full Tables A.1–A.3, the tabulated radial force profiles, and the rotation curve decomposition model of each individual galaxy are available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/587/A160
© ESO, 2016