• M. Bureau
  • G. Aronica
  • E. Athanassoula
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings book series (ASSSP)


Kn-band imaging of a sample of 30 edge-on spiral galaxies with a boxy or peanut-shaped (B/PS) bulge is discussed. Galaxies with a B/PS bulge tend to have a more complex morphology than galaxies with other bulge types, unsharpmasked images revealing structures that trace the major orbit families of threedimensional bars. Their surface brightness profiles are also more complex, typically containing 3 or more clearly separated regions, including a shallow or flat intermediate region (Freeman Type II profiles), suggestive of bar-driven transfer of angular momentum and radial redistribution of material. The data also suggest abrupt variations of the discs’ scaleheights, as expected from the vertical resonances and instabilities present in barred discs but contrary to conventional wisdom. Counter to the standard ‘bulge + disc’ model, we thus propose that galaxies with a B/PS bulge are composed of a thin concentrated disc (a disc-like bulge) contained within a partially thick bar (the B/PS bulge), itself contained within a thin outer disc. The inner disc most likely formed through bar-driven processes while the thick bar arises from buckling instabilities. Both are strongly coupled dynamically and are formed mostly of the same (disc) material.


Central Peak Surface Brightness Intermediate Region Orbit Family Vertical Resonance 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Bureau
    • 1
  • G. Aronica
    • 2
  • E. Athanassoula
    • 3
  1. 1.Sub-Department of AstrophysicsUniversity of OxfordUK
  2. 2.Astronomisches InstitutRuhr-Universität BochumGermany
  3. 3.Observatoire de MarseilleFrance

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