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Merging Spiral Galaxies – simulating visual appearance – YouTube March 1, 2012

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy, MichiganAstro.
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Merging Spiral Galaxies – simulating visual appearance – YouTube.

This animation is really lovely.

It does the usual animation of a simulation of two galaxies merging, with a fly-around of the end state. But then it does more.

There is a short segment to show the differences between what we would actually see, and what it would look like if we could strip away the dust, so you can tel where the dust is concentrated.

The third segment eliminates the stars and shows the gas density and temperature. The temperature is a very nice addition, since it shows what happens to the temperatures during the collision, and there are some interesting dynamics.

Finally, the last segment combines the stars and dust with the gas temperature, fading between the two. It’s particularly fascinating to pause it as it fades between the two, since you can see that the stars and gas don’t always align nicely, and really major features in one may not even exist in the other.

In short, it’s a great thing to share with your intro astro students and tell them to explore it on their own for a few minutes!

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