The Frequency of Barred Spiral Galaxies in the Near-Infrared**Based partially on observations obtained at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. Academic Article uri icon


  • We have determined the fraction of barred galaxies in the H-band for a statistically well-defined sample of 186 spirals drawn from the Ohio State University Bright Spiral Galaxy Survey. We find 56% of our sample to be strongly barred in the H band while another 16% is weakly barred. Only 27% of our sample is unbarred in the near-infrared. The RC3 and the Carnegie Atlas of Galaxies both classify only about 30% of our sample as strongly barred. Thus strong bars are nearly twice as prevalent in the near-infrared as in the optical. The frequency of genuine optically hidden bars is significant but lower than many claims in the literature: 40% of the galaxies in our sample that are classified as unbarred in the RC3 show evidence for a bar in the H band while the Carnegie Atlas lists this fraction as 66%. Our data reveal no significant trend in bar fraction as a function of morphology in either the optical or H band. Optical surveys of high-redshift galaxies may be strongly biased against finding bars, as bars are increasingly difficult to detect at bluer rest wavelengths.

published proceedings

  • The Astronomical Journal

author list (cited authors)

  • Eskridge, P. B., Frogel, J. A., Pogge, R. W., Quillen, A. C., Davies, R. L., DePoy, D. L., ... Tiede, G. P.

citation count

  • 350

complete list of authors

  • Eskridge, Paul B||Frogel, Jay A||Pogge, Richard W||Quillen, Alice C||Davies, Roger L||DePoy, DL||Houdashelt, Mark L||Kuchinski, Leslie E||Ramírez, Solange V||Sellgren, K||Terndrup, Donald M||Tiede, Glenn P

publication date

  • February 2000