The Star-Forming Histories of the Nucleus, Bulge, and Inner Disk of NGC 5102: Clues to the Evolution of a Nearby Lenticular Galaxy [GA]

Long slit spectra recorded with GMOS on Gemini South are used to examine the star-forming history of the lenticular galaxy NGC 5102. Structural and supplemental photometric information are obtained from archival Spitzer [3.6] images. Comparisons with model spectra point to luminosity-weighted metallicities that are consistent with the colors of resolved red giant branch stars in the disk. The nucleus has a luminosity-weighted age at visible wavelengths of ~1 Gyr, and the integrated light is dominated by stars that formed over a time period of only a few hundred Myr. For comparison, the luminosity-weighted ages of the bulge and disk are ~2 Gyr and ~10 Gyr, respectively. The g’-[3.6] colors of the nucleus and bulge are consistent with the spectroscopically-based ages. In contrast to the nucleus, models that assume star-forming activity spanning many Gyr provide a better match to the spectra of the bulge and disk than simple stellar population models. Isophotes in the bulge have a disky shape, hinting that the bulge was assembled from material with significant rotational support. The star-forming histories of the bulge and disk are consistent with the bulge forming from the collapse of a long-lived bar, and it is suggested that the progenitor of NGC 5102 was a barred disk galaxy that morphed into a lenticular galaxy through the buckling of its bar.

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T. Davidge
Mon, 8 Dec 14

Comments: To appear in the Astrophysical Journal