De Lorenzo Cáceres, A., Méndez Abreu, L., Thorne, B., Costantini, L. (2020). Deconstructing double-barred galaxies in 2D and 3D-II. Two distinct groups of inner bars. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 494, 2, 1826-1837 DOI: 10.1093/mnras/staa780
The intrinsic photometric properties of inner and outer stellar bars within 17 double-barred galaxies are thoroughly studied through a photometric analysis consisting of (i) two-dimensional (2D) multicomponent photometric decompositions, and (ii) three-dimensional (3D) statistical deprojections for measuring the thickening of bars, thus retrieving their 3D shape. The results are compared with previous measurements obtained with the widely used analysis of integrated light. Large-scale bars in single- and double-barred systems show similar sizes, and inner bars may be longer than outer bars in different galaxies. We find two distinct groups of inner bars attending to their in-plane length and ellipticity, resulting in a bimodal behaviour for the inner/outer bar length ratio. Such bimodality is related neither to the properties of the host galaxy nor the dominant bulge, and it does not show a counterpart in the dimension off the disc plane. The group of long inner bars lays at the lower end of the outer bar length versus ellipticity correlation, whereas the short inner bars are out of that relation. We suggest that this behaviour could be due to either a different nature of the inner discs from which the inner bars are dynamically formed or a different assembly stage for the inner bars. This last possibility would imply that the dynamical assembly of inner bars is a slow process taking several Gyr to happen. We have also explored whether all large-scale bars are prone to develop an inner bar at some stage of their lives, possibility we cannot fully confirm or discard.