Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad Gobierno de Canarias Universidad de La Laguna CSIC Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa

Astrophysics Research Projects

The Local Universe

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Barred Galaxies: Evolution and Consequences (P/300724)


Bililign Dullo, Thomas Martinsson, Fatemeh Tabatabaei, Cristina Martínez Lombilla,

L. Athanassoula, A. Bosma (Marseille); R. Buta (Univ. Alabama); E. Laurikainen, H. Salo, S. Comeron, J. Laine (Univ. Oulu); E. Brinks, M. Sarzi (Univ. Hertfordshire); P. James, C. Collins, I. Stelle, L. Kelvin (Liverpool John Moores Univ.); M. Querejeta (MPIA); R. Peletier, M. Verheijen (Groningen); B. Elmegreen (IBM); D. Elmegreen (Vassar); R. Beswick (Manchester); I. McHardy (Southampton); B. Madore, M. Seidel (Carnegie); A. Gil de Paz (UCM); J.R. Sanchez-Gallego (Univ. Kentucky); S. Laine (IPAC); S. Erroz (ETH Zurich); J. Lee (STScI); J. Braine (Bordeaux), C. Kramer (IRAM), S. A. Mao (MPIfR), Schinnerer (MPIA), R. J. Kennicutt (IOA, Cambridge) & The KINGFISH collaboration, J. van Loon (Keele University), C. Horrellou (Onsala Space Observatory) & The MKSP collaboration, A. Scaife (Manchester University), B. Dullo (UCM), T. Martinsson (CSIC)


Most galaxies in the local Universe are barred and from images taken with the Hubble Space Telescope we know that the barred galaxy fraction has been constant for the last 8 billion years (z~1). Given that bars are signposts of deviations from an axisymmetric gravitacional potencial, they have important consequences for the dynamics and evolution of their host galaxies. In this Project we study the structure and evolution of galactic bars, and the consequences of their existence for topics such as the distribution and properties of the interstellar medium, the star formation, and the structure of their host galaxies. In the first place, we will investigate the properties of bars and disks as a function of redshift, analyzing samples of galaxies as observed with a variety of modern telescopes. We will use near-infrared, optical and radio, obtained with Spitzer and with ground-based telescopes, to study local galaxies, and imaging from the Hubble to study galaxies at higher redshifts. Secondly, we will study some of the consequences of bars, and in particular how bars relate to the secular evolution of galaxies. This includes the detailed study of rings in galaxies, and of bars in lenticular as compared to spiral galaxies. Thirdly, we study the structure, kinematics and evolution of galaxy discs using images and spectroscopy of nearby galaxies and galaxies at redshifts of up to 1.


- We have completed a high-resolution, multi-wavelength (optical and near-infrared) structural analysis for over 1/3 of our large sample of 280 nearby galaxies that were studied in the context of the LeMMINGs survey.

- We published a paper in MNRAS which offers a new formation mechanism for 3/280 intriguing, barred LeMMINGs galaxies with complex central structures. This work has made use of a new broad- and narrow-band data that was obtained using the ACAM on the WHT in La Palma. These observations were carried out during Director's Discretionary Time based on the successful DDT2015-069 proposal.

- We submitted a discovery paper which provides state-of-the-art structural analysis together with the formation mechanisms for a rare massive BCG.

- We are completing a paper probing the AGN activity and the central structures of an elliptical LeMMINGs galaxy utilising high quality data from state-of-the-art telescopes/facilities including HST (optical+IR), SDSS (optical), Spitzer (IR), and e-MERLIN (radio).

- The radio follow up study of the KINGFISH (Key Insight in Nearby Galaxies) project was completed and accepted for publication by the ApJ. The KINGFISH sample were observed at 1GHz, 6.4GHz, and 8.5 GHz with the 100-m Effelsberg telescope (PI: E. Schinnerer). Using these data, we investigated the origin and energetic of the radio continuum emission and presented star formation rate calibration relations using the radio continuum emission as an ideal, dust-unbiased tracer in galaxies.

- The low-frequency GMRT data of M33 was reduced. This galaxy was mapped at 320 MHz at 10" resolution (highest at this frequency). The map was presented at a conference.

- The cloud-scale EVLA survey of M33 was progressed. The 6 GHz observations were reduced. The preliminary imaging result was published at a conference proceeding.

- We were awarded the WHT allocation time performing deep Hβ (and Hα) observations of nearby galaxies to study their dust content and extinction (PI: FT).

- We were awarded the ALMA allocation time to study the dust polarization in nearby galaxies (PI: R. Paladino).

- Two successful proposals as a co-I to use the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope to observe SAMI galaxies and the Green Bank Telescope to observe MaNGA galaxies.

- We have co-organised several large international meetings, including BiDS2016 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, or Big Data from Space, IAU Symposium 321 in Toledo, Spain, on the Outskirts of Galaxies, which was also the international closing conference of the EU-funded ITN DAGAL (PI Knapen), and the EWASS 2016 in Athens, Greece.

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