Jenica Lesser

Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Physics & Astrophysics

First Advisor

Wayne Barkhouse


Spiral galaxies contain spiral arms that are sites of ongoing star formation, typically making these galaxies appear blue in color. Several studies, however, have recently found that a small fraction of cluster spiral galaxies (~10%) appear red in color. These studies have proposed several mechanisms to explain the red color of spiral galaxies, including bar instabilities. The research goal of this thesis is to contrast and compare imaging data for a sample of face-on red-sequence (RS) and non-red-sequence (NRS) barred spiral galaxies selected from 67 low-redshift galaxy clusters. These data were collected from observations obtained using the 3.6-meter Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, the 0.9-meter telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory, and archival data from the WIde-field Nearby Galaxy-cluster Survey. The ELLIPSE and BMODEL tasks in the STSDAS package of the Image Reduction Analysis Facility software were used to model the central bulge of spiral galaxies, and the IMARITH task was used to subtract the model from the parent image. The ELLIPSE task outputs an STSDAS table file containing isophote fit values that are used to calculate bar length, bar width, and galaxy size. These values were used to calculate bar fractions of all galaxies in the sample. Comparison of bar fractions of the galaxies between the RS and NRS sample showed no statistically significant difference.