Galaxy Zoo: CANDELS barred discs and bar fractions

B. D. Simmons, Thomas Melvin, Chris Lintott, Karen L. Masters, Kyle W. Willett, William C. Keel, R. J. Smethurst, Edmond Cheung, Robert C. Nichol, Kevin Schawinski, Michael Rutkowski, Jeyhan S. Kartaltepe, Eric F. Bell, Kevin R V Casteels, Christopher J. Conselice, Omar Almaini, Henry C. Ferguson, Lucy Fortson, William Hartley, Dale KocevskiAnton M. Koekemoer, Daniel H. McIntosh, Alice Mortlock, Jeffrey A. Newman, Jamie Ownsworth, Steven Bamford, Tomas Dahlen, Sandra M. Faber, Steven L. Finkelstein, Adriano Fontana, Audrey Galametz, N. A. Grogin, Ruth Grützbauch, Yicheng Guo, Boris Häußler, Kian J. Jek, Sugata Kaviraj, Ray A. Lucas, Michael Peth, Mara Salvato, Tommy Wiklind, Stijn Wuyts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


The formation of bars in disc galaxies is a tracer of the dynamical maturity of the population. Previous studies have found that the incidence of bars in discs decreases from the local Universe to z ~ 1, and by z > 1 simulations predict that bar features in dynamically mature discs should be extremely rare. Here, we report the discovery of strong barred structures in massive disc galaxies at z ~ 1.5 in deep rest-frame optical images from the Cosmic Assembly Near-Infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey. From within a sample of 876 disc galaxies identified by visual classification in Galaxy Zoo, we identify 123 barred galaxies. Selecting a subsample within the same region of the evolving galaxy luminosity function (brighter than L*), we find that the bar fraction across the redshift range 0.5 ≤ z ≤ 2 (fbar = 10.7+6.3 -3.5 per cent after correcting for incompleteness) does not significantly evolve.We discuss the implications of this discovery in the context of existing simulations and our current understanding of the way disc galaxies have evolved over the last 11 billion years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3466-3474
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 29 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.


  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: general
  • Galaxies: spiral
  • Galaxies: structure


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