SDSS-IV MaNGA: stellar population gradients within barred galaxies

Amelia Fraser-McKelvie, Michael R. Merrifield, Alfonso Aragon-Salamanca, Thomas Peterken, Karen Masters, Coleman Krawczyk, Byron Andrews, Johan H. Knapen, Sandor J. Kruk, Adam Schaefer, Rebecca J. Smethurst, Rogerio A. Riffel, Joel R. Brownstein, Niv Drory

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Bars in galaxies are thought to stimulate both inflow of material and radial mixing along them. Observational evidence for this mixing has been inconclusive so far, however, limiting the evaluation of the impact of bars on galaxy evolution. We now use results from the MaNGA integral field spectroscopic survey to characterize radial stellar age and metallicity gradients along the bar and outside the bar in 128 strongly barred galaxies. We find that age and metallicity gradients are flatter in the barred regions of almost all barred galaxies when compared to corresponding disc regions at the same radii. Our results re-emphasize the key fact that by azimuthally averaging integral field spectroscopic data one loses important information from non-axisymmetric galaxy components such as bars and spiral arms. We interpret our results as observational evidence that bars are radially mixing material in galaxies of all stellar masses, and for all bar morphologies and evolutionary stages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L6–L11
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters
Issue number1
Early online date6 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


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