Journal Article

Rings and spirals in barred galaxies – III. Further comparisons and links to observations

E. Athanassoula, M. Romero-Gómez, A. Bosma and J. J. Masdemont

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 407, issue 3, pages 1433-1448
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online September 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17010.x
Rings and spirals in barred galaxies – III. Further comparisons and links to observations

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In a series of papers, we propose a theory to explain the formation and properties of rings and spirals in barred galaxies. The building blocks of these structures are orbits guided by the manifolds emanating from the unstable Lagrangian points located near the ends of the bar. In this paper, the last of the series, we present more comparisons of our theoretical results to observations and also give new predictions for further comparisons. Our theory provides the right building blocks for the rectangular-like bar outline and for ansae. We consider how our results can be used to give estimates for the pattern speed values, as well as their effect on abundance gradients in barred galaxies. We present the kinematics along the manifold loci, to allow comparisons with the observed kinematics along the ring and spiral loci. We consider gaseous arms and their relations to stellar ones. We discuss several theoretical aspects and stress that the orbits that constitute the building blocks of the spirals and rings are chaotic. They are, nevertheless, spatially well confined by the manifolds and are thus able to outline the relevant structures. Such chaos can be termed ‘confined chaos’ and can play a very important role in understanding the formation and evolution of galaxy structures and in galactic dynamics in general. This work, in agreement with several others, argues convincingly that galactic dynamic studies should not be limited to the study of regular motions and orbits.

Keywords: galaxies: kinematics and dynamics; galaxies: spiral; galaxies: structure

Journal Article.  15675 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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