Volume 629, September 2019
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||03 September 2019|
Anatomy of a buckling galactic bar
Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bartycka 18, 00-716 Warsaw, Poland
Accepted: 24 July 2019
Using N-body simulations we study the buckling instability in a galactic bar forming in a Milky Way-like galaxy. The galaxy is initially composed of an axisymmetric, exponential stellar disk embedded in a spherical dark matter halo. The parameters of the model are chosen so that the galaxy is mildly unstable to bar formation and the evolution is followed for 10 Gyr. A strong bar forms slowly over the first few gigayears and buckles after 4.5 Gyr from the start of the simulation becoming much weaker and developing a pronounced boxy/peanut shape. We measure the properties of the bar at the time of buckling in terms of the mean acceleration, velocity, and distortion in the vertical direction. The maps of these quantities in face-on projections reveal characteristic quadrupole patterns which wind up over a short timescale. We also detect a secondary buckling event lasting much longer and occurring only in the outer part of the bar. We then study the orbital structure of the bar in periods before and after the first buckling. We find that most of the buckling orbits originate from x1 orbits supporting the bar. During buckling the ratio of the vertical to horizontal frequency of the stellar orbits decreases dramatically and after buckling the orbits obey a very tight relation between the vertical and circular frequency: 3ν = 4Ω. We propose that buckling is initiated by the vertical resonance of the x1 orbits creating the initial distortion of the bar that later evolves as kinematic bending waves.
Key words: galaxies: evolution / galaxies: fundamental parameters / galaxies: kinematics and dynamics / galaxies: spiral / galaxies: structure
© ESO 2019
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