The near-infrared structure of the barred galaxy NGC 253 from VISTA

E. Iodice, M. Arnaboldi, M. Rejkuba, M. J. Neeser, L. Greggio, O. A. Gonzalez, M. Irwin, J. P. Emerson
2014 Astronomy and Astrophysics  
[abridged] We used J and Ks band images acquired with the VISTA telescope as part of the science verification to quantify the structures in the stellar disk of the barred Sc galaxy NGC253. Moving outward from the galaxy center, we find a nuclear ring within the bright 1 kpc diameter nucleus, then a bar, a ring with 2.9 kpc radius. From the Ks image we obtain a new measure of the deprojected length of the bar of 2.5 kpc. The bar's strength, as derived from the curvature of the dust lanes in the
more » ... -Ks image, is typical of weak bars. From the deprojected length of the bar, we establish the corotation radius (R_CR=3 kpc) and bar pattern speed (Omega_b = 61.3 km /s kpc), which provides the connection between the high-frequency structures in the disk and the orbital resonances induced by the bar. The nuclear ring is located at the inner Lindblad resonance. The second ring does not have a resonant origin, but it could be a merger remnant or a transient structure formed during an intermediate stage of the bar formation. The inferred bar pattern speed places the outer Lindblad resonance within the optical disk at 4.9 kpc, in the same radial range as the peak in the HI surface density. The disk of NGC253 has a down-bending profile with a break at R~9.3 kpc, which corresponds to about 3 times the scale length of the inner disk. We discuss the evidence for a threshold in star formation efficiency as a possible explanation of the steep gradient in the surface brightness profile at large radii. The NIR photometry unveils the dynamical response of the NGC253 stellar disk to its central bar. The formation of the bar may be related to the merger event that determined the truncation of stars and gas at large radii and the perturbation of the disk's outer edge.
doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201423480 fatcat:mxttnqriszfe3bdotaor35fote