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Interactive visualisation of colliding galaxies

A still from John Dubinski's 'Spiral Metamorphosis'
A still from John Dubinski's 'Spiral Metamorphosis'

In 2001, astronomer John Dubinski used a 1152-processor supercomputer in the Gravitas project to simulate the possible outcome of a collision between the Milky Way and the nearby Andromeda Galaxy. This very detailed simulation contained around 100 million 'particles' (stars and dark matter) and demonstrates how, after hundreds of million years, the two spiral galaxies merge into an elliptical galaxy with two large 'tails'.

A screenshot from the interactive application
A screenshot from the interactive application

The simulation resulted in some very beautiful animations of the spectacular collision process, which can be viewed here.

Just after the first collision
Just after the first collision

Real time

Using a subset of the original data set, an interactive application has been created that allows one to experience the collision interactively on a desktop PC or, even better, in full 3D in the Reality Cube. Seeing the animation in 3D stereo and being able to freely navigate around the galaxies can lead to a much better insight in the complex spatial phenomena that occur in the collision.

See it...

Watch this movie to see the interactive galaxy viewer in action.

Laatst gewijzigd:25 oktober 2018 12:39