Dr. Sarah Pearson

Astrophysicist, Science Communicator & Public Speaker

Galactic bars

Galactic stellar bars are non-axisymmetric, elongated structures in the inner parts of disk galaxies. More than 30% of massive disk galaxies in the local Universe host strong stellar bars. Many open questions remain concerning how stellar bars form and evolve, but it is clear that bars play pivotal roles in the secular evolution of disk galaxies. Pearson et al. (2017) showed that galactic bars can induce gaps in stellar streams similar to gaps induced by dark matter subhalos (see also Bonaca, Pearson et al. 2020). Pearson has since worked on several projects related to understanding the formation and evolution of galactic bars (see e.g. Ansar, Pearson et al. 2023, Lucey, Pearson et al. 2022).

back to research overview