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The ALMaQUEST Survey XIV: do radial molecular gas flows affect the star-forming ability of barred galaxies?

Hogarth, L. M., Saintonge, A., Davis, T. A. ORCID:, Ellison, L. S., Lin, L., Lopez-Coba, C., Pan, H.-A. and Thorp, M. D. 2024. The ALMaQUEST Survey XIV: do radial molecular gas flows affect the star-forming ability of barred galaxies? Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 528 (4) , pp. 6768-6785. 10.1093/mnras/stae377

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We investigate whether barred galaxies are statistically more likely to harbour radial molecular gas flows and what effect those flows have on their global properties. Using 46 galaxies from the ALMA-MaNGA QUEnching and STar formation (ALMaQUEST) survey, we identify galaxies hosting optical bars using a combination of the morphological classifications in Galaxy Zoo 2 and HyperLEDA. In order to detect radial molecular gas flows, we employ full 3D kinematic modelling of the ALMaQUEST 12CO(1-0) datacubes. By combining our bar classifications with our radial bar-driven flow detections, we find that galaxies classed as barred are statistically more likely to host large-scale radial gas motions compared to their un-barred and edge-on galaxy counterparts. Moreover, the majority of barred galaxies require multi-component surface brightness profiles in their best-fit models, indicative of the presence of resonance systems. We find that galaxies classed as barred with radial bar-driven flows (“barred + radial flow” subset) have significantly suppressed global star-formation efficiencies compared to barred galaxies without radial bar-driven flows and galaxies in the other morphological sub-samples. Our “barred + radial flow” subset galaxies also possess consistently centrally concentrated molecular gas distributions, with no indication of depleted gas mass fractions, suggesting that gas exhaustion is not the cause of their suppressed star formation. Furthermore, these objects have higher median gas mass surface densities in their central 1 kpc, implying that a central gas enhancements do not fuel central starbursts in these objects. We propose that dynamical effects, such as shear caused by large-scale inflows of gas, act to gravitationally stabilise the inner gas reservoirs.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 1365-2966
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 February 2024
Date of Acceptance: 30 January 2024
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2024 15:03

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