Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 470, 3819-3849 (2017/October-1)
Galactic rings revisited. II. Dark gaps and the locations of resonances in early-to-intermediate-type disc galaxies.
Abstract (from CDS):
Dark gaps are commonly seen in early-to-intermediate-type barred galaxies having inner and outer rings or related features. In this paper, the morphologies of 54 barred and oval ringed galaxies have been examined with the goal of determining what the dark gaps are telling us about the structure and evolution of barred galaxies. The analysis is based mainly on galaxies selected from the Galaxy Zoo 2 data base and the Catalogue of Southern Ringed Galaxies. The dark gaps between inner and outer rings are of interest because of their likely association with the L4 and L5 Lagrangian points that would be present in the gravitational potential of a bar or oval. Since the points are theoretically expected to lie very close to the corotation resonance (CR) of the bar pattern, the gaps provide the possibility of locating corotation in some galaxies simply by measuring the radius rgp of the gap region and setting rCR=rgp. With the additional assumption of generally flat rotation curves, the locations of other resonances can be predicted and compared with observed morphological features. It is shown that this 'gap method' provides remarkably consistent interpretations of the morphology of early-to-intermediate-type barred galaxies. The paper also brings attention to cases where the dark gaps lie inside an inner ring, rather than between inner and outer rings. These may have a different origin compared to the inner/outer ring gaps.