Kinematic signatures of nuclear discs and bar-driven secular evolution in nearby galaxies of the MUSE TIMER project

Gadotti, Dimitri A.; Bittner, Adrian; Falcón-Barroso, Jesús; Méndez-Abreu, Jairo; Kim, Taehyun; Fragkoudi, Francesca; de Lorenzo-Cáceres, Adriana; Leaman, Ryan; Neumann, Justus; Querejeta, Miguel; Sánchez-Blázquez, Patricia; Martig, Marie; Martín-Navarro, Ignacio; Pérez, Isabel; Seidel, Marja K.; van de Ven, Glenn
Bibliographical reference

Astronomy and Astrophysics

Advertised on:
Number of authors
IAC number of authors
Refereed citations
The central regions of disc galaxies hold clues to the processes that dominate their formation and evolution. To exploit this, the TIMER project has obtained high signal-to-noise and spatial resolution integral-field spectroscopy data of the inner few kpc of 21 nearby massive barred galaxies, which allows studies of the stellar kinematics in their central regions with unprecedented spatial resolution. We confirm theoretical predictions of the effects of bars on stellar kinematics and identify box/peanuts through kinematic signatures in mildly and moderately inclined galaxies, finding a lower limit to the fraction of massive barred galaxies with box/peanuts at ∼62%. Further, we provide kinematic evidence of the connection between barlenses, box/peanuts, and bars. We establish the presence of nuclear discs in 19 galaxies and show that their kinematics are characterised by near-circular orbits with low pressure support and that they are fully consistent with the bar-driven secular evolution picture for their formation. In fact, we show that these nuclear discs have, in the region where they dominate, larger rotational support than the underlying main galaxy disc. In addition, we define a kinematic radius for the nuclear discs and show that it relates to bar radius, ellipticity and strength, and bar-to-total ratio. Comparing our results with photometric studies of galaxy bulges, we find that careful, state-of-the-art galaxy image decompositions are generally able to discern nuclear discs from classical bulges if the images employed have high enough physical spatial resolution. In fact, we show that nuclear discs are typically identified in such image decompositions as photometric bulges with (near-)exponential profiles. However, we find that the presence of composite bulges (galaxies hosting both a classical bulge and a nuclear disc) can often be unnoticed in studies based on photometry alone and suggest a more stringent threshold to the Sérsic index to identify galaxies with pure classical bulges.
Related projects
Abell 370 is located approximately 4 billion light-years away in the constellation Cetus, the Sea Monster
Galaxy Evolution in Clusters of Galaxies
Galaxies in the universe can be located in different environments, some of them are isolated or in low density regions and they are usually called field galaxies. The others can be located in galaxy associations, going from loose groups to clusters or even superclusters of galaxies. One of the foremost challenges of the modern Astrophysics is to
Méndez Abreu
Group members
Traces of Galaxy Formation: Stellar populations, Dynamics and Morphology
We are a large, diverse, and very active research group aiming to provide a comprehensive picture for the formation of galaxies in the Universe. Rooted in detailed stellar population analysis, we are constantly exploring and developing new tools and ideas to understand how galaxies came to be what we now observe.
Martín Navarro