Get access

Manifold-driven spirals in N-body barred galaxy simulations


  • E. Athanassoula

    Corresponding author
    1. Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, LAM (Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille) UMR 7326, 13388, Marseille, France
    Search for more papers by this author



We discuss the properties of spiral arms in an N-body simulation of a barred galaxy and present evidence that these are manifold driven. The strongest evidence comes from following the trajectories of individual particles. Indeed, these move along the arms while spreading out a little. In the neighbourhood of the Lagrangian points they follow a variety of paths, as expected by manifold-driven trajectories. Further evidence comes from the properties of the arms themselves, such as their shape and growth pattern. The shape of the manifold arms changes considerably with time, as expected from the changes in the bar strength and pattern speed. In particular, the radial extent of the arms increases with time, thus bringing about a considerable increase of the disc size, by as much as 50 per cent in about 1 Gyr.