In this paper we use the two-dimensional (2D) version of a new analytical gravitational model in order to explore the orbital as well as the escape dynamics of the stars in a barred galaxy composed of a spherically symmetric central nucleus, a bar, a flat disk and a dark matter halo component. A thorough numerical investigation is conducted for distinguishing between bounded and escaping motion. Furthermore bounded orbits are further classified into non-escaping regular and trapped chaotic using the Smaller ALingment Index (SALI) method. Our aim is to determine the basins of escape through the two symmetrical escape channels around the Lagrange points $L_2$ and $L_3$ and also to relate them with the corresponding distribution of the escape rates of the orbits. We integrate initial conditions of orbits in several types of planes so as to obtain a more complete view of the overall orbital properties of the dynamical system. We also present evidence that the unstable manifolds which guide the orbits in and out the interior region are directly related with the formation of spiral and ring stellar structures observed in barred galaxies. In particular, we examine how the bar’s semi-major axis determines the resulting morphologies. Our numerical simulations indicate that weak barred structures favour the formation of $R_1$ rings or $R_1’$ pseudo-rings, while strong bars on the other hand, give rise to $R_1R_2$ and open spiral morphologies. Our results are compared with earlier related work. The escape dynamics and the properties of the manifolds of the full three-dimensional (3D) galactic system will be given in an accompanying paper.
C. Jung and E. Zotos
Wed, 13 Apr 16
Comments: Published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS) journal