Journal Article

Orbital structure in <i>N</i>-body models of barred-spiral galaxies

M. Harsoula and C. Kalapotharakos

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 394, issue 3, pages 1605-1619
Published in print April 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.14427.x
Orbital structure in N-body models of barred-spiral galaxies

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We study the orbital structure in a series of self-consistent N-body configurations simulating rotating barred galaxies with spiral and ring structures. We perform frequency analysis in order to measure the angular and the radial frequencies of the orbits at two different time snapshots during the evolution of each N-body system. The analysis is done separately for the regular and the chaotic orbits. We thereby identify the various types of orbits, determine the shape and percentages of the orbits supporting the bar and the ring/spiral structures, and study how the latter quantities change during the secular evolution of each system. Although the frequency maps of the chaotic orbits are scattered, we can still identify concentrations around resonances. We give the distributions of frequencies of the most important populations of orbits. We explore the phase-space structure of each system using projections of the 4D surfaces of section. These are obtained via the numerical integration not only of the orbits of test particles, but also of the real N-body particles. We thus identify which domains of the phase space are preferred and which are avoided by the real particles. The chaotic orbits are found to play a major role in supporting the shape of the outer envelope of the bar as well as the rings and the spiral arms formed outside corotation.

Keywords: galaxies: spiral; galaxies: structure

Journal Article.  9938 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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