The impact of bars on disk breaks as probed by S4G imaging

Juan Carlos Muñoz-Mateos, Kartik Sheth, Armando Gil De Paz, Sharon Meidt, E. Athanassoula, Albert Bosma, Sébastien Comerón, Debra M. Elmegreen, Bruce G. Elmegreen, Santiago Erroz-Ferrer, Dimitri A. Gadotti, Joannah L. Hinz, Luis C. Ho, Benne Holwerda, Thomas H. Jarrett, Taehyun Kim, Johan H. Knapen, Jarkko Laine, Eija Laurikainen, Barry F. MadoreKarin Menendez-Delmestre, Trisha Mizusawa, Michael Regan, Heikki Salo, Eva Schinnerer, Mark Seibert, Ramin Skibba, Dennis Zaritsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


We have analyzed the radial distribution of old stars in a sample of 218 nearby face-on disks, using deep 3.6 μm images from the Spitzer Survey of Stellar Structure in Galaxies. In particular, we have studied the structural properties of those disks with a broken or down-bending profile. We find that, on average, disks with a genuine single-exponential profile have a scale length and a central surface brightness which are intermediate to those of the inner and outer components of a down-bending disk with the same total stellar mass. In the particular case of barred galaxies, the ratio between the break and the bar radii (R br/R bar) depends strongly on the total stellar mass of the galaxy. For galaxies more massive than 1010 M , the distribution is bimodal, peaking at R br/R bar ∼ 2 and ∼3.5. The first peak, which is the most populated one, is linked to the outer Lindblad resonance of the bar, whereas the second one is consistent with a dynamical coupling between the bar and the spiral pattern. For galaxies below 1010 M, breaks are found up to ∼10 R bar, but we show that they could still be caused by resonances given the rising nature of rotation curves in these low-mass disks. While not ruling out star formation thresholds, our results imply that radial stellar migration induced by non-axisymmetric features can be responsible not only for those breaks at ∼2 R bar, but also for many of those found at larger radii.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number59
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013


  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: photometry
  • galaxies: spiral
  • galaxies: stellar content
  • galaxies: structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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  • Surface brightness of S^4^G face-on galaxies

    Muñoz-Mateos, J. C. (Contributor), Sheth, K. (Creator), Gil De Paz, A. (Creator), Meidt, S. (Creator), Athanassoula, E. (Creator), Bosma, A. (Creator), Comerón, S. (Contributor), Elmegreen, D. M. (Creator), Elmegreen, B. G. (Creator), Erroz-Ferrer, S. (Creator), Gadotti, D. A. (Creator), Hinz, J. L. (Creator), Ho, L. C. (Creator), Holwerda, B. (Creator), Jarrett, T. H. (Creator), Kim, T. (Creator), Knapen, J. H. (Creator), Laine, J. (Creator), Laurikainen, E. (Creator), Madore, B. F. (Creator), Menendez-Delmestre, K. (Creator), Mizusawa, T. (Creator), Regan, M. (Creator), Salo, H. (Creator), Schinnerer, E. (Creator), Seibert, M. (Creator), Skibba, R. (Creator), Zaritsky, D. F. (Creator), Ho, L. C. (Creator), Madore, B. F. (Creator) & Schinnerer, E. (Creator), Centre de Donnees Strasbourg (CDS), 2015


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