Photometric Signature of Ultraharmonic Resonances in Barred Galaxies

Krishnarao, Dhanesh; Pace, Zachary J.; D'Onghia, Elena; Aguerri, J. Alfonso L.; McClure, Rachel L.; Peterken, Thomas; Fernández-Trincado, José G.; Merrifield, Michael; Masters, Karen L.; Garma-Oehmichen, Luis; Boardman, Nicholas Fraser; Bershady, Matthew; Drory, Niv; Lane, Richard R.
Bibliographical reference

The Astrophysical Journal

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Bars may induce morphological features, such as rings, through their resonances. Previous studies suggested that the presence of "dark gaps," or regions of a galaxy where the difference between the surface brightness along the bar major axis and that along the bar minor axis is maximal, can be attributed to the location of bar corotation. Here, using GALAKOS, a high-resolution N-body simulation of a barred galaxy, we test this photometric method's ability to identify the bar corotation resonance. Contrary to previous work, our results indicate that "dark gaps" are a clear sign of the location of the 4:1 ultraharmonic resonance instead of bar corotation. Measurements of the bar corotation can indirectly be inferred using kinematic information, e.g., by measuring the shape of the rotation curve. We demonstrate our concept on a sample of 578 face-on barred galaxies with both imaging and integral field observations and find that the sample likely consists primarily of fast bars.