Galaxy Zoo: CANDELS barred disks and bar fractions

B. D. Simmons, Thomas Melvin, Chris Lintott, Karen L. Masters, Kyle W. Willett, William C. Keel, R. J. Smethurst, Edmond Cheung, Robert C. Nichol, Kevin Schawinski, Michael Rutkowski, Jeyhan S. Kartaltepe, Eric F. Bell, Kevin R. V. Casteels, Christopher J. Conselice, Omar Almaini, Henry C. Ferguson, Lucy Fortson, William Hartley, Dale KocevskiAnton M. Koekemoer, Daniel H. McIntosh, Alice Mortlock, Jeffrey A. Newman, Jamie Ownsworth, Steven Bamford, Tomas Dahlen, Sandra M. Faber, Steven L. Finkelstein, Adriano Fontana, Audrey Galametz, N. A. Grogin, Ruth Grutzbauch, Yicheng Guo, Boris Haussler, Kian J. Jek, Sugata Kaviraj, Ray A. Lucas, Michael Peth, Mara Salvato, Tommy Wiklind, Stijn Wuyts

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The formation of bars in disk galaxies is a tracer of the dynamical maturity of thepopulation. Previous studies have found that the incidence of bars in disks decreasesfrom the local Universe to z ∼ 1, and by z > 1 simulations predict that bar featuresin dynamically mature disks should be extremely rare. Here we report the discoveryof strong barred structures in massive disk galaxies at z ∼ 1.5 in deep rest-frameoptical images from CANDELS. From within a sample of 876 disk galaxies identifiedby visual classification in Galaxy Zoo, we identify 123 barred galaxies. Selecting a sub-sample within the same region of the evolving galaxy luminosity function (brighterthan L), we find that the bar fraction across the redshift range 0.5 ≤ z ≤ 2 (fbar =10.7+6.3−3.5% after correcting for incompleteness) does not significantly evolve.We discussthe implications of this discovery in the context of existing simulations and our currentunderstanding of the way disk galaxies have evolved over the last 11 billion years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3466-3474
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Early online date30 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2014


  • astro-ph.GA
  • RCUK
  • STFC
  • ST/J500665/1 and ST/K502236/1 and ST/I001204/1


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