We review general observational properties of bars in galaxies, and relations between bars, their dynamics, and (circum)nuclear activity. We consider new measurements of bar fractions and of the distribution of bars with host type, bar strength, and bar pattern speeds. Bars redistribute material radially, leading to flattened abundance gradients and a diminished degree of disk-wide twofold symmetry in the distribution of star-forming regions. We discuss recent results in statistical correlations between bars and AGNs in samples of active and non-active galaxies, and on circumnuclear regions of star formation in the cores of barred galaxies. Finally, we review the limited, but promising, work published to date on bar fractions at cosmological distances, and list a number of issues where further observational progress should be expected.
|Title of host publication
|In: The Evolution of Galaxies on Cosmological Timescales, ASP Conf Series 187
|Astronomical Society of the Pacific
|Published - 1999