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Published November 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

Bars in early- and late-type discs in COSMOS


We investigate the (large-scale) bar fraction in a mass-complete sample of M > 10^(10.5) M_⊙ disc galaxies at 0.2 < z < 0.6 in the Cosmological Evolution Survey (COSMOS) field. The fraction of barred discs strongly depends on mass, disc morphology and specific star formation rate (SSFR). At intermediate stellar mass (10^(10.5) < M < 10^(11) M_⊙) the bar fraction in early-type discs is much higher, at all redshifts, by a factor of ~2, than that in late-type discs. This trend is reversed at higher stellar mass (M > 10^(11) M_⊙), where the fraction of bars in early-type discs becomes significantly lower, at all redshifts, than that in late-type discs. The bar fractions for galaxies with low and high SSFRs closely follow those of the morphologically selected early- and late-type populations, respectively. This indicates a close correspondence between morphology and SSFR in disc galaxies at these earlier epochs. Interestingly, the total bar fraction in 10^(10.5) < M < 10^(11) M_⊙ discs is built up by a factor of ~2 over the redshift interval explored, while for M > 10^(11) M_⊙ discs it remains roughly constant. This indicates that, already by z ~ 0.6, spectral and morphological transformations in the most massive disc galaxies have largely converged to the familiar Hubble sequence that we observe in the local Universe, while for intermediate-mass discs this convergence is ongoing until at least z ~ 0.2. Moreover, these results highlight the importance of employing mass-limited samples for quantifying the evolution of barred galaxies. Finally, the evolution of the barred galaxy populations investigated does not depend on the large-scale environmental density (at least, on the scales which can be probed with the available photometric redshifts).

Additional Information

© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 RAS. Accepted 2010 July 6; Received 2010 July 6; in original form 2010 January 11. Article first published online: 30 Aug. 2010.

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