Ostriker–Peebles criterion

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In astronomy, the Ostriker–Peebles criterion, named after its discoverers Jeremiah Ostriker and Jim Peebles, describes the formation of barred galaxies.[1]

The rotating disc of a spiral galaxy, consisting of stars and solar systems, may become unstable in a way that the stars in the outer parts of the "arms" are released from the galaxy system, resulting in the collapse of the remaining stars into a bar-shaped galaxy. This occurs in approximately 1/3 of the known spiral galaxies.

Based on the first kinetic energy component T and the total gravitational energy W, a galaxy will become barred when .[1]


  1. ^ a b Binney, James; Tremaine, Scott (1987). "Galactic Dynamics". Princeton University Press. p. 374. ISBN 0-691-08445-9.

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