Presentation #333.02 in the session Galaxies and Cluster of Galaxies.
Polar ring galaxies (PRGs) are a distinct category of peculiar galaxies known for their strikingly unique morphology: a host galaxy encircled by a ring of gas, dust and stars that orbits within a plane roughly orthogonal to the major axis of the host. While PRGs have been studied for decades, and several scenarios have been suggested for their formation (e.g., galaxy mergers or accretion), neither their individual characteristics nor group trends are completely established. We investigate the sizes, ages, masses, and star-formation rates (SFRs) of six polar rings (PRs) taken from archival catalogs by performing photometry and structural analysis on infrared and optical images, and fitting their spectral energy distributions (SEDs). The datasets used consist of Spitzer IRAC 3.6 and 4.5 images and Gemini-GMOS, HST-WFPC2, ESO-Omegacam, and SDSS optical images. The inclusion of both infrared and optical data enables us to characterize and map dust extinction/emission within the rings. We investigate both the diversity of ring properties of different PRGs, and trends between the ring and host galaxy properties - e.g., magnitudes, Sérsic indices, SFRs, etc.
This research was funded by grants from NASA/South Carolina Space Grant Consortium and from the Vice President for Research at the University of South Carolina.