Towards understanding the dynamics of the bar/bulge region in our Galaxy
Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille (LAM), UMR6110, CNRS/Université de Provence, Technopôle de Marseille Etoile, 38 rue Frédéric Joliot Curie, 13388 Marseille Cedex 20, France
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I review some of the work on bars which is closely linked to the bar/bulge system in our Galaxy. Several independent studies, using totally independent methods, come to the same results about the 3D structure of a bar, i.e., that a bar is composed of a vertically thick inner part and a vertically thin outer part. I give examples of this from simulations and substantiate the discussion with input from orbital structure analysis and from observations. The thick part has a considerably shorter radial extent than the thin part. I then see how this applies to our Galaxy, where two bars have been reported, the COBE/DIRBE bar and the Long bar. Comparing their extents and making the reasonable and necessary assumption that our Galaxy has properties similar to those of other galaxies of similar type, leads to the conclusion that these two bars can not form a standard double bar system. I then discuss arguments in favour of the two bars being simply different parts of the same bar, the COBE/DIRBE bar being the thick inner part and the Long bar being the thin outer part of this bar. I also very briefly discuss some related new results. I first consider bar formation and evolution in disc galaxies with a gaseous component – including star formation, feedback and evolution – and a triaxial halo. Then I consider bar formation in a fully cosmological context using hydrodynamical LCDM simulations, where the host galaxies grow, accrete matter and significantly evolve during the formation and evolution of the bar.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2012