Observable Properties Of Double-Barred Galaxies In N-Body Simulations

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Shen, Juntai T.
Debattista, Victor P.

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Although at least one quarter of early-type barred galaxies host secondary stellar bars embedded in their large-scale primary counterparts, the dynamics of such double-barred galaxies are still not well understood. Recently we reported success at simulating such systems in a repeatable way in collisionless systems. In order to further our understanding of double-barred galaxies, here we characterize the density and kinematics of the N-body simulations of these galaxies. This will facilitate comparison with observations and lead to a better understanding of the observed double-barred galaxies. We find the shape and size of our simulated secondary bars are quite reasonable compared to the observed ones. We demonstrate that an authentic decoupled secondary bar may produce only a weak twist of the kinematic minor axis in the stellar velocity field, due to the relatively large random motion of stars in the central region. We also find that the edge-on nuclear bars are probably not related to boxy peanut-shaped bulges which are most likely to be edge-on primary large-scale bars. Another kinematic feature often present in our double-barred models is a ring-like feature in the fourth-order Gauss-Hermite moment h(4) maps. Finally, we demonstrate that the non-rigid rotation of the secondary bar causes its pattern speed to not be derived with great accuracy using the Tremaine-Weinberg method. We also compare with observations of NGC 2950, a prototypical double-barred early-type galaxy, which suggest that the nuclear bar may be rotating in the opposite sense as the primary.


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Shen, Juntai, and Victor P. Debattista. "Observable Properties of Double-Barred Galaxies in N-Body Simulations." The Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 690, No. 1 (Jan., 2009): 758.