A Search for Symmetries in the Star Formation Patterns of Spiral Disks: Barred Galaxies
The Ha brightness distribution of a face-on galaxy is a classical representation of the massive star formation rate per unit surface area. Here, we present a test for the degree of symmetry in this distribution, aimed at deciding whether this parameter shows a significant difference between barred and non-barred galaxies. The test consists in deriving the cross-correlation function of the Ha brightness as a function of curvilinear distance along pairs of opposed arms. In order to use the test, we first apply a geometrical unfolding technique. Here we explain this technique, and present the initial results of applying the test to NGC 157 and NGC 6764.